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Western Railway installs mini windmills to generate electricity

In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint in the city, the Western Railway (WR), for the first time, is trying to generate electricity through wind energy and has installed mini windmills next to Khar and Naigaon railway stations.

We have introduced mini windmills that will be located next to the tracks. The turbine blades rotate as a train passes by, thus generating electricity,” a WR official said, adding that the mini windmill is a pilot project and will be monitored on a trial basis, especially during monsoon.

According to officials from WR, they have stationed five vertical pillars with blue and white coloured blades. When a train passes by, these blades start moving through rotor shafts that are paired with copper plates and other metals for generating wind energy.

“These mini windmills can generate electricity between 1 kilowatt to 10 kilowatt. If these turn out to be successful, then we can install them at more locations and this green energy can then be transmitted to the main grid,” added the official.

Sources said that during their visits abroad, they had seen such vertical axis wind turbines that were generating wind energy. The authorities then installed them at these two railway stations on a trial basis as part of their green energy initiative. The combined capacity of all five vertical axis wind turbines can generate up to 2 kilowatts at any time.

The WR is already exploring solar power generation at their railway stations and on rooftops of station buildings where solar panels have been installed, said the WR official, adding, “In 2021-22, the WR had saved ₹1.5 crore electricity consumption cost after using solar power.

Until now, the WR has saved more than ₹3 crore on electricity bills by the use of renewable energy. By using solar energy, the WR has managed to reduce 2,711 metric tonnes of carbon emissions per year. At the same time, reduced usage of diesel by 10.42 lakh litre per annum led to net savings in revenue of ₹10.04 crore per year.


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