Goin' underground – Delhi Metro to go solar?

The Delhi Metro system could be entirely powered by solar energy, according to a report run by the Hindustan Times.

Greentech Media (GTM), on its greentechlead.com website, stated plans to commission solar facilities to meet an anticipated peak underground rail system demand of around 250 MW, will be finalized by tomorrow (Saturday).

Referring to an article in the Indian newspaper, which quoted an unnamed government official, the GTM said the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) wants to find a developer, via an auction in Rajasthan, with the aim of buying power for INR6.94/kWh (US$0.109/kWh).

The load factor of around 20% for Indian plants – the percentage of power actually delivered from the stated maximum generating capacity of a plant operating continuously at peak output – means a 500 MW plant would be needed to get the underground running on clean energy.

The underground system currently has a peak demand of 150 MW but that is set to rise by 100 MW when a third phase of expansion of the system is complete.

The DMRC currently generates around 1.2 MW of solar power from its own rooftop installations.