A 1984 batch officer of Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE), Sudhir Kumar Saxena is the chief executive officer, Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL).
He has varied experience of nearly 30 years in the indigenous development of imported products for Indian Railways (IR), electrical construction works, setting up of captive power plants, etc. Prior to his current position, he was executive director, electrical energy management, Railway Board, where he took various initiatives in the areas of energy conservation, energy-efficient systems, green energy, and electricity cost optimisation. In the past, he has also worked as director, Department of Telecommunications.
Currently, he is responsible for power procurement through the bidding process, power planning strategy, renewable energy projects, regulatory matters, etc. for IR.
Energy management is a key area for IR. He says, “It is a very challenging area. IR’s current power procurement strategy includes procuring power through the allocation by the Ministry of Power (NTPC, Dadri), from a captive power plant (Nabinagar, 90 per cent allocated to railways), and through competitive bidding, bilateral agreements, and power exchanges.” Talking about procuring power from the market, he says, “The primary measure taken by IR is to migrate from a consumer status to a distribution licensee status for reducing the energy bill. Therefore, in May 2014, IR invoked its status of deemed distribution licensee and decided to procure power directly from generators through the open access route. It is expected that these measures will enable IR to save around Rs 30 billion in the next few years.”
With regard to REMCL’s future plans, he elaborates, “The company has already issued tenders for procuring 400 MW of power in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Telangana and another 396 MW of power for Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana and Karnataka. It also plans to procure power from exchanges on a day-ahead and term-ahead basis, to meet peak requirement (pilot projects at Diwana and Ballabgarh in Haryana have been initiated). REMCL also plans to procure 132 MW of wind power and 500 MW of solar power through tariff-based bidding over the next few years.”
Saxena is an electrical engineer from IIT Roorkee and has a master’s degree in power systems from IIT Delhi.