The metro rail systems in India are known for providing comfortable journey to passengers are now planning to save the environment by using solar energy to meet its power requirements. Various metro rail organizations, DMRC, KMRL, CMRL, MMRDA etc have already initiated efforts to begin their journey to be an energy neutral system.
To begin with, Delhi Metro is planning to be world’s first 100% solar powered metro by 2021. DMRC has started receiving 99 MW solar energy from Madhya Pradesh’s 750 MW Rewa Solar Power Plant. The solar power would be utilized for the operational as well as auxiliary requirements of Delhi Metro Network. Till now, the solar power generated by the roof top plants installed in DMRC premises were utilized for auxiliary requirements such as lighting and air conditioning of stations and depots. Currently, DMRC uses solar energy for 60% of its electricity needs. Delhi Metro expects to save over Rs 1400 Crore in next 25 years utilizing solar energy.
Kochi Metro Rail on 1st April commissioned a 2719 KW capacity solar plant at their Muttom Depot, spread across 4 hectares of land located. With the opening of new solar power plant, KMRL will be able to meet 40% of its total power requirements by itself. Currently, with solar panels at 13 stations, Kochi Metro has achieved 19% energy neutrality. Further, KMRL is planning for an additional 5400 KW by setting up solar panels in another 2 hectares at depot and metro stations and hence 60% energy neutrality very soon. It is expected that, with new solar power plant, KMRL can save upto Rs 107 Lakh on energy cost every year.
Chennai Metro Rail is also on its way to harness the solar energy to meet day-to-day power demands. CMRL installed two new solar plants worth a combined capacity of 428 kW on the roofs of two stations on April, 5th 2019 and the electricity generated will be used to meet power demand at the stations. CMRL has a total installed capacity of 4.1 MW solar power including those installed at its head office in Koyambedu and a few other metro stations. Another 2.5 MW rooftop solar power installation is under progress and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The new solar plants having a capacity to generate around 57,780 units per month, will save around Rs 26.34 lakh per year.
Following the same path, MMRDA has also issued 7.63 MW Roof Top Solar PV Project Tender For line 7 and 2A of Mumbai Metro last month.