In a first, the Delhi Metro is going to install solar sound barriers on its elevated corridors that not only would reduce noise but would also generate electricity.
To start with, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is planning to put solar sound barriers on the viaduct between its upcoming Okhla Vihar and Jasola Vihar metro stations as a pilot project. The two stations fall under the Magenta Line of the Phase-III network and installing such barriers on either side of the stretch could help DMRC generate as much as 1 MWp (mega watt peak) of solar energy.
"The plan is to install bifacial photovoltaic (PV) solar panels which could also act as noise barriers on the elevated corridor like there are on parts of the airport metro and Gurgaon's Rapid metro. Bifacial solar systems are installed vertically and the PV panels are there on both sides," said a metro official.
If implemented, it would be the first in India as such installations are mostly found in European countries. In countries like Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France and Italy, solar sound barriers have been put up along major highways and even a few railway tracks.
"The generated solar power will be utilised for captive application of Delhi metro and the surplus power will be fed to the DMRC grid. The scheme aims to reduce the fossil fuel based electricity load on main grid and make the system self-sustainable from the point of electricity," reads the tender that was floated to invite bidders for the project.
The DMRC has planned the project in the RESCO model where it would pay the concessionaire a levellised tariff is Rs5.25 per kWh for 25 years. "The stretch needs a noise barrier as it is a congested area with a lot of residential colonies. In case the response is not so good then the proposal could also be restructured. In India, currently there are very few companies which have the expertise in such solar sound barriers," a metro official said.
At present, the Delhi Metro has the highest installed solar generation capacity in the capital that stands at 15MW. "We are targeting to increase our solar generation to 20MW by the end of 2018 and 50MW by 2021. Most of DMRC stations, depots and roofs of residential colonies are being utilized for solar power generation," the official added.