Source: Business Standards; August 1, 2017
The metro rail network’s continued efforts in the field of clean energy have also reaped the desired results. This can be gauged from DMRC’s renewable energy blue print for the upcoming years.
DMRC’s electricity consumption is expected to touch 300 Mw in the next five years. In an attempt to promote and encourage clean energy, the corporation plans to derive nearly a sixth of this power from solar energy.
Delhi Metro currently consumes 140 Mw of electricity, 17 Mw of which comes from solar. This figure is expected to increase to 20 Mw in the next three months. It has already tied up with the Rewa Solar Project, which would come up in the next 18 months, to buy electricity at Rs 3.15 per unit.
According to an expert, the efficiency of a solar power plant is approximately 20 per cent; therefore, if DMRC plans 50 Mw of solar power in the next five years, it actually means about 8 Mw of electricity in actual terms.
DMRC and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) have also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to carry out projects for the production of renewable solar power in the Delhi Metro premises. According to the MoU, both the organisations will collaborate for the development of solar photovoltaic projects (ground mounted, rooftop, and other possible modes) at identified DMRC sites for the production of solar energy.
These solar power plants, which have a total generation capacity of 1,660.4 kWp (kilowatt peak), have been installed under the RESCO (Renewable Energy Supply Company) model, wherein the capital cost has been invested by the solar developer and DMRC has signed the power purchase agreement for 25 years. DMRC shall only pay energy charges for the actual energy generated.
In 2009-10, DMRC’s energy expenditure was Rs 83.2 crore, which rose more than six times to Rs 520.5 crore in 2015-16. Since then, the cost of electricity has gone up manifold. The cost of per-unit power in 2009-10 was Rs 3.21, which doubled to Rs 7.25 per unit in 2015-16.
DMRC consumes 65 per cent of energy for traction, with 35 per cent consumed by other auxiliary services for various passenger facilities such as air conditioning, lighting, fire and hydraulics, and lift escalators, among other things. Expenditure towards energy constitutes 38 per cent of DMRC’s total operational expenses.
To curtail its expenses, the corporation has switched to solar power and set up solar panels to generate energy. Currently, it is running trains in energy-saving mode, de-energising idle trains, and optimising the air-conditioning levels.