All 12 major domestic ports will soon switch to renewable energy to meet their entire power requirements, making India the first country to have all government-owned ports running on solar and wind energy. The government plans to install almost 200 megawatt solar and wind power generation capacity at the ports by 2019, officials said.
Almost 150 mw of this will be solar power and 50 mw wind power generation capacity. The capacity could be ramped up to 500 mw in the next few years.
On Tuesday, a high-level conference attended by shipping minister Nitin Gadkari, top officials and chairmen of several port trusts was held at JNPT in Mumbai to discuss the road map of implementing the green ports project. “Total initial investment in the project is expected to be Rs 500 crore.
These renewable energy projects will help in reduction of carbon emission and lead to improvement of environment around the ports,” said a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified.
The government has also decided to meet the power requirements of smart port industrial cities coming up at Kandla Port and Paradip Port to be met though green renewable power sources.
“All our ports are cash-rich and we made total profit of Rs 5,000 crore in the last fiscal. The ports have started the process of setting up renewable energy projects from profits,” the official said.
The wind energy projects will be executed at three major ports – Kandla, VO Chidambaranar Port and Kamarajar Port. The total capacity of the wind energy projects is estimated to be 70 mw. “These projects will also help reduce cost of power purchased by utilisation of renewable energy for power generations,” the official said.
A total of 7 mw of solar projects has already been commissioned at Vishakhapatnam Port, Kolkata Port, New Mangalore Port, VO Chidambaranar Port and Mumbai Port. The remaining solar power projects will be commissioned in phases and are expected to be completed by 2019. These projects are part of the green port initiative launched by the shipping ministry.
Separately, Indian Railways has sharpened its focus on undertaking renewable power projects. The national transporter plans to install 1,000 mw of solar plants, which will be installed on signalling panels and rooftops of rail stations. There’s another plan to install 200 mw of wind energy in the next five years.