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BD Post Desk
From lights to air-conditioners and even trains, everything at four underground metro stations will now be operated on solar power. Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has commissioned a 103kWp (kilowattpeak) capacity rooftop solar power system to cater to these stations, report agencies.
The photovoltaic panels have begun generating power at Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar Tower, Anna Nagar East and Shenoy Nagar stations. Through the panels, CMRL will tap around 13,800 units of power every month, and hopes to save Rs 6.3 lakh a year in power costs. By the end of this year, elevated metro stations too will go green, as another 6MW capacity rooftop solar power plant will be installed.
“We have a total installed solar capacity of 1.6MW. Solar power will meet all our technical demand for daily operations in the stations they have been installed,” a metro rail official said.
CMRL began using clean energy in 2016, when it installed a 1MW capacity solar panel at its administrative building in Koyambedu. Around 5,000 units generated a day from the 1MW grid power the administrative office and for maintenance of trains at the depot. In September 2018, another 350kWp capacity panels were added in the depot.
With another 125KW capacity added in the car park area of its headquarters at Koyambedu, CMRL has been getting more than 1.35 lakh units of solar power every month, saving nearly Rs 22 lakh a year on power charges.
Besides, CMRL has started installation of panels at the entry points of both underground and elevated stations to power their lighting systems and electrical appliances used for daily operations.
Last year, CMRL signed a contract with a Mumbai-based company to install solar panels with a capacity of 6MW at all its existing elevated stations. CMRL identified about 25 locations spread over more than 1.4 lakh sqm, including those in Koyambedu and Alandur for the purpose.
With the project ready, CMRL expects 90% of its annual power requirement to be met by solar energy. The remaining energy requirement will be drawn from the general grid.