PKP Energetyka launched photovoltaic installations at 360 substations
PKP Energetyka’s network of photovoltaic installations is the most extensive in the railway industry and one of the most extensive in Poland. In total, the company’s 360 substations operate 11,000 square meters of panels capable of generating around 2 GWh of clean energy per year. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to the Global Railway Review.
As a result, the company can reduce its carbon footprint by more than 1,500 tons of CO2 per year. The project to build several hundred facilities was completed in just over 18 months, increasing the number of “green” substations from 15 to 360 – more than 70% of all traction substations feeding the Polish railway system.
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PKP Energetyka’s long-term strategy is to reduce its carbon footprint by 85% by 2030 and become climate neutral in terms of direct and indirect emissions. The first significant step has been taken, which is easy to notice when looking out the window of a moving train. PKP Energetyka traction substations are located all over Poland along the railway tracks, equipped with equipment that converts alternating current into direct current and supplies it to trains. Each substation requires an auxiliary power supply. The company organized this electricity supply using solar energy and installed photovoltaic panels in most of the substations.
The location of each system was chosen individually to maximize its efficiency and productivity. As for the panels, they have been designed with an emphasis on protecting the environment. The company has chosen polycrystalline technology, which reduces negative effects and is safe for birds. The total green energy production potential is 2 GWh per year, equivalent to the consumption of 1,000 households. The project budget is over PLN 15 million.
Providing energy from a dedicated off-grid renewable energy source also improves the security of the rail system’s power supply. The most important equipment of the substation operates smoothly even when the power is turned off.
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