As the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro completes two years, its operator Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) is now looking to harness solar energy to partially meet the transport system’s power needs.
The MMOPL, a consortium of Reliance Infrastructure, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Veolia Transport, plans to install roof-top solar panels at all the 12 stations on the 11.4-km line, and at four locations in the car depot at D N Nagar.
Abhay Kumar Mishra, chief executive at MMOPL, said, “We are in the process of finalising vendors for setting up the solar panels. Our target is to save at least 30 per cent of energy required for non-traction purposes by using clean energy. We are looking at it more from the point of view of energy savings than cost savings, but it will also marginally have an effect on the operations and maintenance cost.”
The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro, which has catered to 18.3 crore commuters since its launch in June 2014, requires 2.5 million units of electricity per month, of which about 90,000 to 1 million units are required for non-traction purposes.
The MMOPL spends roughly Rs 14-15 crore per month on operations and maintenance cost, and earns Rs 17-18 crore a month. The system is positive in its EBITDA-earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and ammortisation, but is still struggling with cash flow with a high loan servicing cost due to an 83.4 per cent surge in completion cost of the line, Mishra said.