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Thursday, 01 March 2018 16:14

BMTC and Metro plan switch to solar power

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Faced with annual upward revisions in electricity tariffs, Bengaluru’s transport utilities Namma Metro (BMRCL) and BMTC are in talks with private developers in their pursuit of cheaper power options.

While the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has started talking to solar power developers, Namma Metro too is looking at cheaper options.

The state-run BMTC is planning to install rooftop solar panels at its 10 traffic transit management centers (TTMCs) such as Shanti Nagar, ITPB, and Banashankari and its 43 depots.

The corporation now spends on an average Rs 2 crore per month on electricity. “While each depot requires about 1,000 units of power per month, the bus terminals consume three lakh units of power per month,” a BMTC official said.

BMTC chairman Nagaraj Yadav added that “Bescom charges a commercial tariff of ₹6.5 to ₹8 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Solar power developers are promising to offer one unit of power for ₹3. We will look at all the options and go for a viable one”.

In 2016, the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) too had proposed a similar model of installing rooftop solar systems (with a combined total capacity of 2,610 MW) at its depots in Baiyappanahalli and Peenya. While Bescom charges a tariff of ₹5.70/ per unit, Cleanmax, a rooftop solar developer, had quoted ₹5.5 per unit for the first three years and ₹5.6 per unit in the subsequent years. The BMRCL, however, has not proceeded with the Cleanmax deal and believes solar tariffs have further fallen now and if it were to go for a deal now, the savings will be huge.

BMRCL director in charge of electrical, signalling & telecommunication NM Dhoke believes the landed cost of solar power will be further down next year.

With Phase I complete up and running, the utility plans to fast-track the proposal of adopting solar energy. “Now, there are several models. The decision on whether to buy captive power from a solar plant or pick a listed developer from Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will be taken in a month,” the official noted.

S Sumanth, former KPTCL director, felt the two transport utilities could wait for some more time because solar prices are cooling off and there are chances are that it could come down further.

Additional Info

  • News Section: Solar Energy News
  • Month: March
  • Year: 2018
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