The upcoming Metro station at Chennai Central see a lot of firsts in the city’s urban transport network. While it will be the city’s largest underground transit hub, it will also be the largest metro station in South India with a total area of 70,000 sq metres, beating the currently largest metro station – the Kempegowda Metro Station at Majestic in Bengaluru that is 48,000 sq metres.
At a depth of 28 m below the ground, the interchange station will also be powered entirely by solar-generated electricity through panels on the station’s rooftops that will also power part of the maintenance systems for the station, according to a report by The Times of India.
Officials of the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) have said that photovoltaic panels that can generate 1 mega-watt (MW) of energy each will be installed on the entry points along Poonamallee High Road under which the station is located. The power generated will be used to power escalators, elevators, lighting, ticketing and air-conditioning systems. CMRL expects to save on its electricity bills with the solar initiative.
Last year, CMRL had signed agreements with a Mumbai-based firm to set up solar generation facilities that would generate 6 MW in all its elevated stations, which it estimates will cover nearly 90 per cent of its power requirements. Prior to that CMRL had set up solr panels to generate 1 MW at its administrative building in the Koyambedu Depot that was used to power both the administrative and maintenance sections of the depot while saving Rs 1.12 crore a year in electricity bills.