Nagpur Metro will join the list of ever-growing urban metro rail projects to use solar power for its operations.
According to media reports, Nagpur Metro will set up solar power projects in a phased manner to meet at least 65% of its power demand. The urban rail metro system had initially negotiated a tariff of Rs 7.50/kWh (11.0¢/kWh) for solar power. As this is more than three times the lowest solar power tariff in India Nagpur Metro has decided to develop captive solar power projects.
The urban rail project will launch tenders to set up solar power projects in a phased manner, which will be set up atop station roofs. The company will use solar power during the day and likely switch to power from the state distribution power company during the night.
Several urban rail projects in India have opted to source at least a part of their power needs from solar power projects. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) perhaps leads them all. The company has signed power purchase agreements to buy more than 200 megawatts from a solar power project located 800 kilometers away. DMRC has also set up several rooftop solar power projects and targets 50 megawatts from this segment by 2020.
Mumbai Metro, Kochi Metro and Chennai Metro have all announced plans to set up rooftop solar power projects. Nagpur Metro, however, is the first to set up solar power projects at its inception stage itself, all others set up solar power projects after operations commenced.