In an attempt to promote and encourage clean energy, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation plans to meet nearly a sixth of its power requirements from solar energy. The corporation’s electricity consumption is expected to touch 300 MW in the next five years.
DMRC currently consumes 140 MW of electricity of which 17 MW comes from solar, which is expected to increase to 20 MW in the next three months. It has already tied up with the Rewa Solar Project in Madhya Pradesh, which will be operational by the next year and a half. DMRC will get power at Rs 3.15 per unit from this project.
According to an expert, the efficiency of a solar power plant is approximately 20 per cent. This would mean that if the DMRC plans 50 MW of solar power in the next five years it will get about 8MW of electricity in actual terms.
Under the DMRC Solar Policy, the corporation may also use roof sheds, parking lots etc for solar power generation.
DMRC and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to carry out projects for the production of renewable solar power in the Delhi Metro premises. As per the MoU, both the organisations will collaborate for the development of Solar PV (Photovoltaic) Projects (ground mounted, rooftop and other possible modes) at identified DMRC Sites for the production of solar energy.
DMRC has installed nine new solar power generation facilities at its stations and depots on the Badarpur – Faridabad Metro corridor for partial fulfilment of the energy requirements of that corridor.
These solar power plants with a total generation capacity of 1,660.4 kWp (kilowatt peak), have been installed under the RESCO (Renewable Energy Supply Company) Model, wherein the capital cost has been invested by the Solar Developer and DMRC has signed the Power Purchase Agreement for 25 years. DMRC shall only pay energy charges for the actual energy generated.
DMRC’s energy expenditure in 2009-10 was Rs 83.2 crore, which rose more than six times to Rs 520.5 crore in 2015-16. The cost of electricity has gone up manifold since then. The cost of power-per-unit in 2009-10 was Rs 3.21, which doubled to Rs 7.25 a unit in 2015-16.
DMRC consumes 65 per cent of energy for traction while 35 per cent is consumed by other auxiliary services for various passenger facilities such as air conditioning, lighting, fire and hydraulics, lift escalators, etc. Expenditure towards energy constitutes 38 per cent of DMRC’s total operational expenses.
The corporation has switched to solar power and set up solar panels for energy generation in order to curtail its expenses. Currently, it is running trains in energy-saving mode, de-energizing the idle trains, optimising the air-conditioning levels, etc.