On Saturday the Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal said that the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) will set up solar power plants on the railways’ vacant land.
Addressing the International seminar India Mining – on the cusp of Transformation, Goyal said railways is going to tie up with NLC to have them put up solar power generating equipment across the railways at their investment and the railways would be buying that power.
“Thousands of acres of the railways land has already been encroached, so wherever land we are left with, I want NLC to put up the solar plants; so that I can save them from encroachment,” Goyal said.
He added that the agreement in this regard would be signed very soon.
The Minister said the second objective is to take NLC’s help in expanding railways platforms. To which he said, “We have existing platforms that need to be expanding on both sides because we are going in for longer rakes and platforms don’t handle such long rakes. NLC will help us expand the existing platforms, create a roof over the platform extension, and we will have a different rate of power for the investment they will be putting in to do that”.
He also said that while helping the Railways’ energy security, the NLC will also help the Railways in creating more infrastructure for passenger amenities.
“The third thing we have agreed is that whenever we need the land on which NLC have put solar power plants; NLC will shift the equipment somewhere else. If it is during the payback period, NLC can shift it at the cost of the railways,” he added.
State-run NLC India Limited is engaged in mining of lignite and generation of power through lignite based thermal power plants. The company has moved from an only lignite mining and power generation company to become an energy company. The company currently has a total power generation capacity (including JVs) of 4301 MW.
The company aims to have a generation capacity of 16673 MW with 3990 MW coming from solar energy.