CHENNAI: In a big leap towards becoming a green railway station, Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MG Ramachandran Central station has installed 1.5 MW capacity solar panels. With this, 100 per cent energy requirement of the station during the day is met by solar power.
Recently, PM Narendra Modi and Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw appreciated the initiative. Vaishnaw tweeted 100% Day energy requirement of Chennai Central Station is met by #SolarPower. This was retweeted by the Prime Minister, who said the station has shown the way in use of solar energy.
Works for the green initiative started in October, 2017 and was completed in October, 2019. Before October 2017, the per day power demand for Central stood at 960 Kwp between Monday and Friday and 305 Kwp during weekends. The power was drawn from TANGEDCO. The station comprises of three complexes - main station building, Moore Market (suburban terminus) and NGO complex, which houses railway offices. After installation of solar panels, presently 17,400 units is supplied to the Central from Monday to Friday and 10,700 during weekends.
“A total of 21.90 lakh units of power is generated in a year, of which 8.76 lakh is received from Central and 13.14 lakh from the MMC complex. All three buildings is now powered through solar energy. The initiative brought down expenses of the railways by `1.75 crore per annum,” said a railway official.
The first 100 Kwp solar panel installation was made on the roof of old concourse hall in Chennai Central was commissioned on December 14, 2017. The second phase took place on platform 2A, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 with 500Kwp panels and was completed on March 2, 2019.
During the last phase of works, 900 Kwp capacity solar panels were installed on platform 12, 13, 14, 15 and Moore Market Complex. The works were completed on October 24, 2019. Officials said solar power panels have been installed at railway stations including Katpadi, Tambaram, Mambalam, Guindy and Chengalpattu suburban stations, among others.