The  Indian Railways is planning to generate 1 MW solar power at the New Delhi railway station by installing solar panels on the platform roofs. It would be implemented on a public-private partnership model was a part of the railways’ initiative to convert some of its stations into “green buildings”. It will be developed as per RESCO model in which an agency develops whole infrastructure and client pays the cost of electricity consumed per unit.

The New Delhi railway station is spread over an area of the 6,38,467 square metre, including the yard area. About 4,21,388 square metre of the total is built-up area. The station has 16 platforms.
Once operational, about 25 per cent of the energy requirements at the New Delhi station can be met by solar power, which has an average daily demand of over 4 MW. This is way above the utilities are mandated to generate as milestones fixed.

The Railway officials said that once the pilot project at the New Delhi station becomes successful, it would have a model that could be replicated at other stations in the city viz.,Bijwasan, Old Delhi, Nizamuddin, and Anand Vihar. One wonders, why it needs to stop there and replicate this in other smaller railway stations. One risk is of pilferage and maintaining the systems in smaller locations such as Tier 2/3 towns and cities in India and the Indian Railways decides to go solar in such locations. Priority needs to be accorded to locations where grid power is erratic and in short supply.

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