|The initiative to harness solar power at the New Delhi railway station is part of the Railways’ project to convert some of its stations into ‘green buildings’. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty|
The Railways is planning to generate 1 MW solar power at the New Delhi railway station by installing solar panels on the platform roofs. Officials said the power project that will be implemented on a public private partnership model is a part of the Railways’ initiative to convert some of its stations into ‘green buildings’.
“A consultant has been roped in to conduct the feasibility study. While we plan to install solar panels on roof tops of the platform and the station building, the consultant has been asked to identify the exact locations on the station premises where solar panels can be installed, apart from the cost of installation,” said Anurag Sachan, Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi).
“As per the initial plans, the private partner will install the solar panels and generate power and the Railways will buy power at a pre-determined rate,” he added.
According to railway officials, the New Delhi railway station is spread over an area of the 6,38,467 sq m, including the yard area. Around 4,21,388 sq m of the total is built-up area. The station has 16 platforms. Officials said with no major high rises located in the vicinity of the station premise, generating 1 MW solar power is achievable.
“Once operational, around 25 per cent of the energy requirements at the New Delhi station, which has an average daily demand of over 4 MW, can be met just by solar power,” a senior Northern Railway official said.
Apart from the New Delhi station, the public transporter is also working at converting more stations in the Delhi Division like Bahadurgarh, Deewana and Gurgaon into green buildings. Solar power plants will also be installed at other major stations in the city like Old Delhi, Nizamuddin, Anand Vihar and Bijwasan.
“Once the pilot project at the New Delhi station becomes successful, we will have a model that could be replicated at other stations in Delhi,” a senior Northern Railway official said.
With the Narendra Modi government emphasising on harnessing solar power and taking lessons from solar projects in Gujarat, sources said the initiatives in the field are likely to get priority and easy clearances from the Ministry.
Sources said after senior railway officials made a presentation before the Prime Minister, he instructed the department to “use solar energy more aggressively and install them on the roofs of station buildings and other areas, apart from considering installation of solar panels atop the train coaches”.
“Installation of solar panels on train coaches is possible. It can meet the general requirements like lighting bulbs and running fans in the trains. An experiment is also being done with a toy train running on the Shimla-Kalka route,” an official said.