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Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) was first in the country to use solar power to supply 25% of its electricity requirements at the time it was commissioned for the first phase.
The Metro is now able to meet 50% of its electricity needs through solar power after implementing several solar power initiatives.
Loknath Behera, managing director of KMRL, stated that the solar plant would go up on a 45-acre site in Kasaragod. This is where a private entity had previously planned a similar project. However, it was later abandoned.
KMRL recently commissioned a 1.8 MW solar power station at its Muttom yard. This allowed the company to meet 51% its energy requirements through its own solar power plants.
Muttom’s plant was built as part of KMRL’s third phase of its solar project, which aims to produce 5.445 MW of electricity. This project is unique in that it taps into the open sky space provided by the metro tracks.
KMRL achieved 51 % energy neutrality by commissioning the Muttom facility.
In 2018, solar panels with a power output of 2.7 MW were placed on the roofs of Metro stations and depot buildings. Nearly 18% of the total energy requirements were met with a production rate of 37 lakhs units annually.
In 2019, phase two saw the commissioning of ground-mounted solar panels, with a power output of 2.7 MW. They were installed in the KMRL depot. This average power generation was approximately 44 lakh units annually, which made the energy neutrality as high as 30%.
KMRL’s 3rd phase will see a 10.5 MWp total solar power generation capacity. This will produce approximately 147.49 million units per year, or 55% of its total energy consumption.
“The green energy initiative helps improve the environment by reducing CO2 emissions. KMRL is looking into the possibility of becoming a 100%-energy neutral organization. Behera stated that the Kasaragod plant would be a first step toward achieving this goal.