On 11 August, India ceremoniously inaugurated the capital's first rooftop solar power plant on a metro station. The 500-kilowatt photovoltaic plant is located on top of the large building in this city of several million, and is capable of supplying the entire energy needs of the train station.
The new solar power plant is part of the ComSolar project supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The extensive project is fostering the development and demonstration of innovative business models with the aim of commercialising solar energy in urban and industrial settings in India. ComSolar is being implemented locally by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The new solar power plant on the metro station is the largest and most powerful of its kind in all of Delhi and the surrounding areas. It operates using the renewable energy service (RESCO) model. According to this model, the investor owns and operates a renewable energy plant and the customer, in this case the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), purchases the electricity based on a power purchase agreement (PPA). This is an arrangement that has met with success around the world.
Using this model, in the near future DMRC is planning more solar power plants on the roofs of five further train stations. According to the DMRC, its next major goal is to tap solar power as an energy source in other areas as well, such as multi-storey car parks or apartment buildings.