After Asangaon near Mumbai, CR aims to run Matunga, Chembur railway stations on clean energy
Asangaon in Thane became the first green railway station on the CR network on February 4mumbai Updated: Feb 09, 2018 09:50 IST
To reduce use of fossil fuels, the Central Railway plans to operate a majority of its railway stations on renewable energy.
Asangaon in Thane became the first green railway station on the CR network on February 4. It operates entirely on solar and wind energy. Matunga, Ambernath, Badlapur, Chembur and Mankhurd railway stations are next in line for the green switch.
“We are attempting to turn many stations green this year. All railway stations will soon be equipped with LED (light emitting diode) lightings,” said SK Jain, CR’s divisional railway manager.
The CR took two months to turn Asangaon into a green station. It is being operated on one 10 kilowatt (kW) solar panel and two 5kW solar panels. One wind mill is also being used for wind energy.
Paintings on the station walls depict the benefits of using renewable energy. A wind mill is placed outside the station on the east side and the solar panels on the roof. The booking office, lights, fans, automatic ticket vending machine (ATVM) and other ticketing and electric equipment at the railway stations are being operated on solar and wind energy.
“The changes in the station majorly include energy efficient fans, solar pumps and LED lights. The installation has been going on since last week. The booking office is operating on the solar and wind energy. We will save close to Rs1 lakh per month,” said an official at the station.
The CR will save Rs11 lakh annually in power bills at Asangaon railway station. Solar panels and a wind mill will produce 16kW of energy against station’s requirement of 11kW. The CR will put the surplus renewable energy in the local grid.
Last year, solar panels were installed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to meet the power requirement of the administrative wing. Similarly, other railway offices are being equipped with solar panels.
Railway stations on the CR will be completely equipped with LED lightings by March 31. The LED lights have better illumination than the regular ones, and will help CR save Rs148 lakh annually.
“It is a positive step that the railways has taken. The railways will save money as the minute they use solar energy. The cost will go down and the environment will be cleaner. In comparison to coal, the renewable energy will be cheaper. It should be cost competitive,”remarked Ashok Pendse, consumer representative of Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on the Asangaon experiment.