Kolkata: One of the busiest railway terminals in the country is Sealdah Railway Station. The station will soon be solar-lit in a major stride to promote the cause of clean energy and also bring down cost through energy efficiency.
For now, ten buildings adjacent to Sealdah Station that started in 1869 under Eastern Railway (ER), will be illuminated with solar lights. The ambitious solar project at Sealdah, in the heart of the city, will be implemented through the RESCO (renewable energy services company) business model.
ER expects to save around Rs 15 lakh in electricity cost per year, through this solar project. ER has formed an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) with Erect craft Energy, which is a new company floated by Sun craft Energy Private Limited, promoted by a group of IIT Kharagpur alumni to get this project executed in the PPP model.
Interestingly, in this case, the private partner Erect craft Energy will invest in the solar project, while railways will pay a pre-fixed rate per unit of electricity consumed for the next 25 years through a power purchase agreement.
Initially, the plan was to install the solar facility on the shed covering the platform. However, civil engineers pointed out that the thrust exerted by the wind generated during the entry of trains in the station, might be harmful for the panels.
Hence, it was decided that the installation should be put up on the rooftop of the administrative buildings. It may be mentioned that the entire system will integrate a self-cleaning mechanism, so that the yield is more.