Indian Railways' Vijayawada station now boasts of an innovative solar photovoltaic cover-over-platform (COP) having the highest capacity across the network! The Vijayawada railway station situated in Andhra Pradesh, which comes under the South Central Railways (SCR) zone, has been provided with solar photovoltaic COPs at platform numbers 4 and 5. CH Rakesh, Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO), South Central Railways told Financial Express Online that the capacity of the solar plant installed at the Vijayawada station is 65 kWp, which is of the highest capacity across the Indian Railways network, installed for any cover over platform at a railway station. The Vijayawada station is also the first railway station on the network to have an installed capacity of more than 50 kWp solar panels on a cover-over-platform.
The cost of the solar roof provided is worth Rs 60 lakh. This innovative solar platform cover has resulted in saving Rs 8.1 lakh per annum by meeting the power and energy requirements of the station.
According to details shared by the SCR zone, the geographical and weather conditions around the Vijayawada station, make the area suitable for harnessing solar power. Taking these into consideration, the senior railway officials are exploring the option of solar power, for meeting the power requirements of the station area. The details of the solar photovoltaic cover-over-platform at the Vijayawada station are as follows:
- The SCR zone installed a high capacity building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solar plant of 65 kWp capacity COPs at platform numbers 4 and 5 of the Vijayawada station, where the platform covers are made up of solar panels without utilizing any galvanized sheets.
- In order to install this solar plant, a total of 198 solar panels, each with a capacity of 330 Wp, were erected directly on a shelter structure, covering a length of 33 meters.
- Specifically, the approximate power generation from this solar panel structure is around 1.06 lakh electrical units and caters to around 17 per cent of the power needs of the railway station. This has resulted in saving a huge sum of Rs 8.1 lakh per annum.
- The solar panels installed on the cover over platform also provide shelter to the passengers waiting at the platform.
Gajanan Mallya, General Manager, South Central Railways was quoted saying in a press release that the solar panels at the Vijayawada station will help in reducing the expenditure of the SCR zone towards power requirements.