To reduce power consumption and utilise non-conventional energy sources, Chennai Metro Rail plans to install solar street lights in some of its station premises soon.
According to Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) officials, 50W solar street lights with lithium-iron battery back up will be put up in a few stations such as Koyambedu, Alandur and Arumbakkam. This work is estimated to cost ₹10 lakh, officias said.
“We have called for tenders for installation of 25 solar street lights. The work should be awarded soon and it may begin in about two months. Depending on the works in these three stations, the facility will be extended to the other ones too,” an official said.
CMRL already has solar panels in the depot and parking lot of its administrative office in Koyambedu with a production capacity of 1MW and 125KW respectively. CMRL’s depot in Koyambedu sprawls over 26 hectares and has on campus workshops, stablings lines, washing plants of trains and Operation Control Centre (OCC) from which all trains can be controlled.
In addition to this, they have allocated space in the rooftops of stations in two stretches from Koyambedu to St. Thomas Mount and Little Mount to Chennai airport. The estimated rooftop area in stations is 40,000 sq.m. It may take about a year to finish this work on stations, an official said.
“Currently, our consumption is about 50,000 units [of electricity]. The existing solar power generation saves about 5,000 units; only if the 6MW project comes up, we can cut down on our consumption to some extent,” he said.