May 5 (Renewables Now) – The Austrian Federal Railways, known as OeBB, is planning to spend about EUR 1 billion (USD 1.05bn) by the end of the decade to expand its solar, wind and hydropower generation capacity.
The investment push is expected to add 280 GWh of green power which is equal to the average consumption of 70,000 Austrian households.
Austria’s national railway operator currently produces about 750 GWh of electricity at its own nine hydropower plants and another one is under construction. Additionally, the company procures power from four other stations that produce electricity exclusively for OeBB.
Apart from hydropower, the Austrian Federal Railways is boosting its solar capacity. Last year, 20 new solar plants were switched on, tripling the company’s electricity generation from solar to about 10,000 MWh. OeBB now has 45 solar parks in operation and more than 30 sites are being planned for 2022. The company’s first wind park is expected to go online this year.
In addition, OeBB is also working on pilot projects to test photovoltaic (PV) systems on transport infrastructure, such as train platform roofs made of PV elements.
Renewable energy is an important tool in the fight against the climate crisis and the only possible solution for OeBB is to rely on domestic hydropower and renewable energy, according to the railway operator’s chief executive Andreas Matthae.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.053)