CST gets solar panels to meet its energy needs

THE Central Railway (CR) has undertaken a pilot project to reduce its carbon footprint at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in Mumbai division and Tikekarwadi in Solapur division. For this, it is looking at solar energy to fulfil the power needs at these stations.

In December last year, Khandala station was provided with equipment to harness solar and wind energy. “Tikekarwadi has now become the first station on CR to meet all its power requirement through solar energy. At CST, the 10-kW solar panel is meeting some of the requirement, said Vidyadhar Malegaonkar, chief public relations officer, CR.

Rising energy costs had compelled CR to take steps to reduce dependence on non-renewable energy. According to the spokesperson, the average cost of one unit has gone up by around 16 per cent due to increase in energy prices between 2011-12 and 2012-13. Last year, CR earned a Rs 5.77 crore rebate on non-traction energy owing to the green initiatives undertaken by the administration.

“With measures such as these, we hope to reduce our dependence on non-renewable sources of energy further,” said Malegaonkar.

“In addition, about 50 level-crossing gates are powered by solar energy. We have also taken measures like running pythons (two freight trains attached together) and switching off auxiliary systems when trains are at stations. Such measures have helped us improve specific energy consumption by 2.7 per cent,” he said.