Railways installs windmill at Aduthurai station

CHENNAI: Aduthurai may be a nondescript railway station between Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam but it has become the first in the south to have its own source of electricity — a 2 KW windmill.

When Tiruchi division wanted to do an innovative experiment on a green initiative, they selected the wayside railway station because it is small, does not have a generator and its power requirement is not huge.

This is the first time a wind mill is being installed in a railway station to meet its power requirement. Southern Railway general manager Deepak Krishan inaugurated the mill, installed by a Swiss company on a 20 m tower at a cost of Rs 3 lakh, on Friday.

Southern Railway has decided to try out windmills to power its wayside stations to reduce its dependence on the power grid. “The wind energy system was part of railways’ plans to reduce dependence on electricity from the grid. Through such methods, about 2000 KW can be produced,” Kishan told reporters that after opening the system.

“Power generated from the windmill will be used for all purposes — for signals, pumping water for the station, lighting and others. The station is connected to the electricity board’s grid but we will not be using it anymore. That will be a saving of power,” an official said.

Another advantage will be uninterrupted power supply. All major railway stations have generators as backup when power supply fails. But small wayside stations do not have generators and are often plunged in darkness if power supply from the grid fails.

“Railways is planning to have windmills at small stations because power consumption will be more at major railway stations. But, at small station consumption is less and investment will be less for installing wind mills,” the official added.