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Clean Transport

Published on June 29th, 2015 | by Anand Upadhyay


Delhi Metro Eyes 100% Solar Dream

June 29th, 2015 by  

The Delhi based Hindustan Times recently reported that Delhi Metro is looking to meet its entire electricity needs using solar power.

As per a senior Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official, the metro is interested in buying solar electricity from a project developer rather than putting up one by itself.  DMRC is currently buying electricity at ₹6.94 (~$0.11) per kilowatt hour.

DMRC is the biggest consumer of electricity in the Indian state of Delhi. Its traction system is completely electricity driven, and in addition, electricity is required for signalling, communication, air-conditioning, and lighting, amongst other things. A Train of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation at one of the stations

As of now, Delhi metro has a peak power requirement of 150 MW which is expected to shoot up to 250 MW by the time the third phase goes operational. Over the past five years, power prices in Delhi have increased at the rate of 20 percent per annum; solar power can help the company to free itself from future price rise.

The report mentions that the metro might be looking at a solar plant of 500 MW installed capacity, possibly in the neighbouring state of Rajasthan.

DMRC has also been focusing on solar rooftops in a big way. Currently it operates a 1.2 MW solar rooftop capacity system, with the metro is hoping to implement a few more pilots before rolling it out on a large scale to cover all stations and yards on the network.

A GIZ supported study estimates a network-wide potential of about 52 MW solar rooftop capacity.

The rooftop projects are being commissioned and operated under the RESCO — REnewable Energy Services COmpany — model where the Delhi Metro provides the site for the project while the developer takes care of capital cost and project operation and maintenance. The utility-scale plant will also be developed under a similar model, and is expected to entail an initial investment of ₹30 billion (~$500 million).

Check out this presentation for an overview of several initiatives taken by Delhi metro for its sustainable growth.

Meanwhile Indian Railways has been experimenting with solar powered coaches, and have got promising results.

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About the Author

is an Associate Fellow with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI, New Delhi) – an independent, not-for-profit research institute focused on energy,
environment, and sustainable development. Anand follows the Indian solar market at @indiasolarpost. He also writes at SolarMarket.IN. Views and opinion if any, are his own.

  • Jacob

    $0.11/kWh is quite high.

    How many kWh per day?

    Maybe Delhi Metro should extend the existing HVDC line that runs from Gujarat to Haryana and buy electricity from Adani for $0.08/kWh.

    The coal power stations in the state of Delhi should be shut down or converted to run on LNG.

  • JamesWimberley

    Way to go. Ate we to understand that the planned split between generation and distribution in India is now a reality?

    • I think you meant transmission and distribution, because generation and distribution are already entrusted to different entities. Once the pending bill in the Parliament gets sorted out, even T&D will be split up. (http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-12-14/news/57034689_1_power-sector-electricity-act-central-electricity-regulatory-commission)

      • Karn

        Isn’t the main problem of Delhi the the poor transmission infrastructure going in ,not the generation itself ?

        • Well the only reason generation is not a problem from Delhi is because the city-state hardly generates any power in the first place!

          Transmission is not in such a good shape, however, if I were to pick between transmission and distribution, I will readily choose the latter.

          But my previous reply was to James on whether generation and transmission is taken care of by the same agency/organisation, which is not the case.

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