Metro rail bets on wind power to run its trains

In a first in the country, the Rs 15,000-crore Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar Metro Rail project is likely to have a dedicated 20 MW wind power generation plant to run its trains and meet power requirements at its stations and other utilities.

The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the project, Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company Limited, recently invited expressions of interest from companies that are in wind power generation to set up and run the dedicated wind farm for the Metro project.

Sources said this would be the first Metro rail project in the country to run on "green power" for which carbon credits would also be claimed.

The capital cost of 1 MW of wind power is Rs 4.5-6.85 crore, which is slightly higher than the cost of fossil fuel power. However, the running cost of a wind farm is very low as the fuel cost is zero and cost of operations and maintenance are very low.

The likely cost of a wind power plant dedicated for Metro rail is around Rs 110 to Rs 120 crore.

The Metro rail is proposed to cover a 44-km route in its first phase. Later, the government also plans to link Dholera with Ahmedabad by the Metro rail.

The state government first came out with Metro rail proposal in in 2005 and it was accepted by the Centre in 2006.

Once complete, the Metro rail is estimated to ferry 17 lakh commuters daily.

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