India’s largest mass rapid transit system has announced plans to significantly increase power procurement from solar power projects.
Delhi Metro has announced that it will increase share of solar power in its total power procurement to 50% by 2031. At present, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) sources 34% of its power from solar power projects. The bulk of this power is sourced from Rewa Solar Power Park located 500 kilometres away in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Delhi Metro has also installed 50 megawatts (peak) of rooftop solar power capacity at its stations, staff housing, and administrative builds. It also sources power from a waste-to-energy power plant located at a landfill at the edge of the city.
Rewa Solar Power Park is comprised of three projects of 250 megawatts each. Support infrastructure for the solar park was funded by the World Bank. The auction for the solar park was unique, as buyers had already committed to acquiring predefined power from the projects. DMRC committed to procure 28% of the power generated, while state power distribution utilities signed a power purchase agreement to acquire the balance, 72%.
DMRC is currently expanding it network and will construct 27 new elevated stations. It plans to install 10 megawatts of rooftop solar power capacity at these stations.
Another mass rapid transit system — the Delhi to Meerut intercity rail network — plans to meet bulk of its power demand from renewable energy sources. The system, currently under construction, aims to meet 70% of its power demand from solar power projects.
DMRC is perhaps among the cleanest rapid transit systems in the world. Apart from sourcing renewable power to meet a third of its electricity needs, the system is also registered under the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and generates carbon credits by offsetting vehicular emissions.
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