AS PART of its green initiatives, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) plans to use solar energy to power part of the under-construction Metro 3. It plans to use solar energy at the Aarey car depot and at sub-stations along the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ line. The sub-stations themselves require power supply for the functioning of utilities like lighting and air-conditioning. The 33.5-km Metro line will have three receiving substations – at Science Museum, Dharavi and Aarey Colony. Solar panels will be installed on their rooftops to provide power supply for utilities, making the substations self-reliant for basic power supply needs. Similarly, the car depot and workshop at Aarey will also have solar panels.
“Since Metro 3 is completely underground, it was a challenge to use solar energy as there is very little area exposed to the sun. But we overcame that challenge and decided to use this environment-friendly measure as much as possible,” said a senior MMRC official. MMRC will take the first step on this project by installing solar panels on the rooftop of its office building in BKC to take care of the lighting needs. It will also have the provision of net metering, which allows MMRC to sell the surplus power generated back to the grid and save on electricity bill. “We have already awarded work for the rooftop solar panels for our office building and it will be commissioned by March 31. The designs have already been approved and we will soon procure the equipment,” added the official. MMRC hopes to generate up to 1.5 MW power through its solar initiatives. It is also looking at options to harness solar energy for the running of trains.