Kochi: At Kochi Metro Rail’s operational control centre located at Muttom, a 2,670 photovoltaic (PV) solar plant was inaugurated by managing direction of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish. This project aims to boost the share of solar energy to 19.4% of metro’s total energy utilization at Kochi Metro Rail.
During the first phase of Kochi Metro Rail solar power was to be generated from the rooftop plants. These would be installed at 22 metro stations as well the Muttom depot. The entire project using the rooftop would have generated around 4MWp. This is an ambitious plan in order to work towards offering sustainable solutions.
Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) model has been adopted by KMRL to implement projects using green energy. As part of the model private vendor will be investing approximately ₹32 crore to set up the system as well as carry out operations and maintenance. KMRL on the other would sign a power purchase agreement wherein they will purchase power from the vendor at rate agreed by both the parities.
During the bidding the rooftop power generation project was awarded to M/S Hero Solar Energy (P) Ltd. at a cost of ₹5.51 per KWh of energy drawn, for the next 25 years. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has already given an assistance of 15% of the total expenditure for the project. KMRL will get central financial assistance to carry out the rooftop solar power generation project shared the officials at Kochi Metro Rail stations.
In 2017, KMRL has already commissioner solar capacity of 2,148 KWp. Additionally 522 KWp is already installed and is all set to be commissioned. With this additional capacity, the capacity of solar power plant will be enhanced further to 2,670 MWp. KMRL has by April 2018 already generated 17.66 lakh units of solar energy with its existing installed projects. This figure is likely to increase as additional capacity is increased.
As per the figures shared by KMRL, they have generated 8,411 units from the solar plant per day against their consumption of 53,948 KWh units per day. This shows that they are able to generate solar energy that meets around 16% of the total demand per day. By adding more capacity the figure will increase around 20% from the existing 16%.
Enthusiastic with the solar power generation, KMRL are looking to install rooftop solar generation plan at various Kochi Metro Rail installations and infrastructure. The officials are exploring all possible opportunity to go green.