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PR to Switch 155 Railway Stations to Solar Power

Pakistan Railways (PR), which has approved the PC-1 costing Rs 450 million for the project, has decided to convert as many as 155 railway stations to solar electricity. Tenders in this respect are expected to be published shortly after the 2021–22 annual budget is approved.

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The PR administration states that 22 additional stations will have the ability to operate the computer-based interlocking/signaling system, while 81 of the stations will be switched to a solar power system with an eight-hour backup. 52 stations will have a solar power system with no backup, while 22 more will have a two-hour backup.

According to officials, the solar power systems’ design capacity is 2,308 kw, while the annual production at 20 percent efficiency is 3.2 million units. Since the lifespan of the solar systems at each station will be up to 25 years, they estimate that 83 million units of power will be generated overall during this time.

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As a result of the tariff difference (Rs 25–26 per unit cost imposed by the distribution companies and Rs 7-8 incurred on per unit generation/supply), the PR projects an annual savings of Rs 52 million in the cost of diesel for running generators and Rs 70.62 million. The department further asserts that the installation of LED lighting at the 155 stations has resulted in annual savings of Rs 28.92 million.

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