Taking a major leap toward green energy initiatives, Delhi Metro trains will be powered by solar energy by mid 2017. Speaking to this newspaper, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation chief Mangu Singh said that the Delhi Metro has signed an agreement with a solar power facility which will be used to operate Delhi Metro trains. Solar energy till now had been used for the ancillary purposes such as lighting of the Metro stations.
“Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has signed a power purchase agreement with a solar facility in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh. Under the agreement, DMRC will receive 250 MW from the upcoming 750 MW plant,” he said.
He, however, added that the corporation will use a power back-up for the train operations due to unreliability of solar power.
The Delhi Metro has about 7.2 MW of installed solar rooftop capacity at present but for the overall operations 250 MW additional power will be required. From 2017 onwards, the corporation will start receiving power from the facility. “Though solar power has its own limitations and cannot be 100 per cent reliable, it can still be used as a primary source for the train operations with an alternate power back-up,” Mr Singh added.
At present, the Delhi Metro has a peak power requirement of 150MW, which is likely to go up to 250MW by the time the third phase of its construction is completed.
“In a bid to decrease its carbon footprint and to insulate itself from the electricity hike, which has increased by at least 20 per cent in the last five years, the corporation had planned to purchase power from the alternate sources,” an official said.
Mr Singh further said that to meet the ancillary power requirements such as lighting, solar plants are being installed at Delhi Metro’s Yamuna Bank, Ajaronda, Kalindi Kunj depot and an 880 KW plant at Kalindi Kunj. He said that by 2017, DMRC will start receiving 20 MW and by 2018 31 MW solar power.
The corporation has set a target of 50 MW solar power by installing rooftop solar power plants on its buildings by 2021.
He said that this will meet the ancillary power consumption such as lighting of the stations.