NAGPUR: Nagpur Metro has decided to go in for captive solar power generation and will get it at Rs4.50 a unit. It will use costly conventional power in evening.
Mahametro managing director Brijesh Dixit said that the earlier state power generation company Mahagenco was to generate solar power for Nagpur Metro. “It was costing us Rs7.50 per unit and hence we decided to go for self generation in open access captive mode,” he added.
Mahametro will tie up with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a central government undertaking, for solar generation. “We will go only for SECI registered companies. The current rate offered by SECI is Rs4.50 a unit. We have made it clear that we want power at less than this rate,” Dixit further said.
Nagpur Metro needs 14MW solar power to meet 65% of its energy needs. Earlier, Mahametro had decided to float a tender for entire 14MW. Now, it will install of solar panels in stages. “The first tender will be only for three stations in the at grade section — Khapri, New Airport and Airport South — which will be used by public from January 2018. The rate of solar power is reducing by the day and we want to take advantage of this trend. We will increase our solar capacity as and when required,” the MD said.
The advantage of open access captive mode is that no permission is required from Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). “Earlier, we wanted to generate power under solar roof top policy. The problem is that there is a cap of 1MW under this policy. We had filed a petition in MERC to remove the cap for us as a special case but were not successful,” he told TOI.
Mahametro plans to install solar panels atop its stations and along the boundary wall of the at grade section. Nagpur Metro is the first one in the country to go for solar power right from inception. Other Metros installed solar panels atop their stations much after commence of commercial operation. Mahametro’s green initiative has been lauded by foreign lending agencies.