Now, windmills will power trains

Southern Railway will install seven windmills at either Aralvaymozhi or Kayathar near the Western Ghats as part of its plan to tap wind energy to meet the rising demand for electricity to run trains. Currently, the zone uses power supplied by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, Kerala State Electricity Board and Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh.

“We also plan to make the most of the carbon credits we will earn after the windmills are in place,” said Southern Railway chief electrical engineer M C Murali. Four firms that own land in these regions with wind energy potential have bid for tenders to install windmills that are expected to generate 12 billion units of power. The tenders will be awarded before March. The power generated will be linked to the grid and will help Southern Railway save Rs 12 crore on its power bills.

The Centre for Wind Energy Technology (CWET), an R&D institute under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is studying the wind potential of the locations submitted by the firms who have bid for the project. The centre has complete data on the wind potential of micro sites across the country.

According to CWET, Tamil Nadu has the most number of sites where wind power density is greater than 200 watts per square metre. The listed 45 sites are located close to the western ghats.

The windmills are expected to generate 12 billion units of power, which will be linked to the grid and will help Southern Railway save Rs 12 crore on its power bills.

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