Railways look to solar power New Delhi station

In what could crown the New Delhi railway station as the first 'green' station in the city, the Delhi Division of Northern Railway is looking at the option of using solar energy to power the premises.

Under the pilot project, solar panel of 1 megawatt (MW) capacity will be installed in the non-utilised portion of the rooftop. Authorities highlighted the need to conserve energy and reduce the power bill of the station.

At present, New Delhi pays around Rs 1.5 crore as its monthly power bill and draws 5 MW electricity. "The solar panels will help reduce the dependence on the conventional source of power. We will install higher capacity solar panels in a phased manner," Divisional Rail Manager A K Sachan said.

The panels will be installed on private public partnership. A private company will install the panels and the Railways will purchase the power from it on a fixed rate.

Solar panels will be installed above the roof of foot overbridges, terrace and other shelters of the station. "The private party will install and maintain the solar panels. The agreement would be for 5 to 10 years. The power tariff will be fixed so it benefits Railways and allows the concessionaire to recover initial investment," Sachan said.

For the pilot project of 1 MW solar panel an expenditure of Rs 1.5 crore is expected.

The Railways will first have to invite bids to appoint a consultant to examine the modalities of the solar panels. The consultant will provide the technical assistance. "The consultant will study the load-bearing capacity of the rooftop to ascertain if pillars need to be strengthened. It will also check in the location where the maximum solar heat can be captured and the wind pressure," another official said.

The consultant will be appointed by December-end and, based on the study, installation of solar panels would start next year, Sachan said.

Chinese delegation visits

A five-member Chinese delegation visited the Delhi Division of Northern Railway on Wednesday. The delegation was headed by the Vice-Minister of Railways from China, Wang Zhiguo.

Chief Operations Manager S K Chowdhri, Chief Signal & Telecommunication Engineer (Northern Railway) Akhil Agarwal and Divisional Railway Manager Anurag Sachan hosted the delegation, along with other officials.

Officials said the talks proved beneficial with respect to rapid heavy haulage, high-speed trains and station management. "The discussions will prove important in mutual exchange of technology and ideas. This would help improve technology and working of railway in both countries," Divisional Rail Manager A K Sachan said.

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