The CST annexe building that houses offices of several railway departments will soon get solar power, saving lakhs of rupees every month. Central Railway has planned to install solar panels on the building, which is located behind the heritage CST structure. An official said, “The installed capacity of the solar panels will be 100 kilowatt. It is good enough to take care of the power needs of all our offices in the building.”
The project, which will be executed through public sector unit Central Electronics Ltd, is estimated to cost Rs 80 lakh. It is likely to become operational by February 2017. The official said that the CR expects to recover the cost of the project in five years.
“We will have to generate energy to the tune of 640 units per day. As of now, the per unit tariff is Rs 12. Once, we source power through solar panels, we will save money on power bills. The savings are estimated to be Rs 23 lakh per year,” he added.
The government has been encouraging installation of solar power systems, especially on rooftops of institutions like railway stations and airports.
The railway ministry has set a target of installing 1,000MW solar power plants on its land and buildings in five years. The Indian Railways has also finalized a policy for harnes sing solar energy on rooftops of its premises. The policy also provides for letting a developer set up solar power plants on its premises and selling it to the railways under a long-term power purchase agreement.
Policy guidelines and tender documents for 50MW solar plants on rooftops of railway premises have already been issued and facilities for another 100MW plants are under construction. So far, the railways has commissioned a 25MW wind mill power plant at Jaisalmer and work is under way on a 132.5MW project, which is expected to go into production next year.
The railway ministry has also proposed utilization of infrastructure at remotely located railway stations for installation of solar micro-grids on pilot basis. The proposal intends to provide not only the stations with clean and reliable power supply , but also the nearby households.