The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is making progress towards its goal to go 100% solar as far as power procurement is concerned.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has signed an agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to source electricity from solar power projects. The DMRC is looking to ensure low-cost, escalation-free electricity for a period of several years to ensure financial and operational efficiency.
The DMRC intends to source around 1,000 million kWh of electricity from ground-mounted solar power projects every year. A solar PV project of around 600 MW capacity will be able to deliver that much power. A project of 500 MW capacity has been planned to be commissioned over the next 3 years. As Delhi neither has the land nor high solar radiation, the project may well come up somewhere in the nearby states like Uttar Pradesh or, more likely, Rajasthan.
The SECI will facilitate the entire process of tendering and finalizing the developer(s). The DMRC shall then sign a power purchase agreement with the project developer.
The DMRC currently buys power from a number of utilities in Delhi and has to pay very high tariffs. As frequent hikes in fare may cause political storms in the national capital, the annual increase in electricity tariffs dents DMRC’s profitability.
The Corporation has already gone solar by setting up several rooftop solar power projects at its stations. This program is expected to be expanded to more stations over the coming months. However, the rail network of DMRC is set to expand at a much faster rate compared to the planned solar power capacity addition. A new line, the largest so far, is expected to be operational over the next few months while the DMRC plans to expand further into the neighboring states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana over the next few years.