6MW solar energy to power metro stations and maintain trains

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Chennai metro stations will soon go green. Solar power will be used to run facilities at the stations as well as for maintenance of trains.

Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (Cmrl) has signed a contract with a private company to install solar panels, with the capacity to generate 6MW of power in total, in all metro stations. While the solar panels atop Cmrl’s Koyambedu building is likely to save more than Rs 10 million a year, the additional clean energy is expected to reduce expenses further.

A Mumbai-based energy solution provider has won the contract to install solar photovoltaic panels on rooftops of all metro stations. Power generated by these panels will be used for lighting, escalators, elevators, air-conditioning systems and electrical items used for public convenience.

Cmrl first began using clean energy when it installed solar panel with a capacity of 1MW at its administrative building in Koyambedu last year. The 5,000 units generated per day from the 1MW grid power the administrative office and for train maintenance work. That installation, it was believed, would help Cmrl save more than Rs 11.2million each year.

Around the same time, Cmrl also identified about 25 locations spread over more than 1.4 lakh sq m. According to Cmrl, the contractor is expected to design, manufacture, supply, install, test and commission the solar PV panels. The company is also expected to maintain the system for a certain period.

The rooftop solar system is expected to meet 90 percent of the annual energy requirements depending on the area available. The remaining energy requirement will be met by drawing power from the general grid. Officials said the priority for utilizing the clean energy would be given for internal consumption. The excess power may then be exported to the grid, they added.

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