BHEL commissions world’s first solar PV plant for rail traction application
New Delhi, July 9, 2020
The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had successfully commissioned a 1.7 MW Solar PV Plant at Bina in Madhya Pradesh for the Indian Railways.
The plant will directly feed power to traction systems of Indian Railways, a press release from the company said.
"The project is a landmark achievement in the history of solar power, as this is the first time that solar power is being directly used for traction applications. With this, BHEL has achieved direct injection of single-phase 25 kV power to traction substation of Indian Railways," it said.
The project has been jointly conceptualised and developed by BHEL and Indian Railways. BHEL’s scope in the project envisaged design, engineering, manufacture, supply, construction, erection, testing, commissioning and O&M based on the inputs provided by Indian Railways.
The project has been installed and commissioned by BHEL in just four and a half months from the date of joint land survey with Indian Railways for the Bina location (excluding time lost due to Covid disturbances).
The release said this was a pilot project by the company developed on turnkey basis on vacant land of Indian Railways. The concept to design and engineering was carried out in less than one and a half months. The R&D, development and manufacturing was completed entirely in-house at BHEL facilities at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jhansi and Bhopal.
"Significantly, for the first time, development of single-phase 850 kW solar inverters and 400 V/25 kV dry type transformers for outdoor duty has been done. Other solar plant equipment such as PV modules, SCADA system and HT switchgear have also been supplied by BHEL’s manufacturing units located at Bengaluru and Bhopal, respectively.
"The project is a unique example of joint working of Indian Railways and BHEL in the field of rail transportation. This development marks a major step of merging the advantages of renewable energy in the railway sector in an unprecedented way. With this successful demonstration by BHEL, Indian Railways' objective of turning its huge land bank into captive PV power plants for supporting the Railway traction grid without the support of utilities and the Railways’ initiative of ‘Go Green’ by 2030 will become a reality," the release added.