Following the footstep of Cochin International Airport, Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has reportedly started looking out for land to house a solar farm to power its Water Metro ferries by 2021.
Metro currently needs 80 acres of land to produce 20 MW of solar power, however, around 15 MW of green energy will be used to power the ferries, while the remaining will be used to recharge automobiles at ferry terminals, earning revenue for KMRL.
A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish, managing director of KMRL speaking to The Hindu said “We are on the lookout to obtain government land on lease. This has been taken up with the State government, and a response is awaited.”
Shaji P. Janardhanan, general manager, Water Metro project speaking to the publication on plans to introduce a fleet of zero-greenhouse-emitting vessels by 2021, , said all the 78 ferries would initially operate on electric power for which they would be equipped with the latest of batteries.
He said “Energy from solar panels installed on the roof of vessels and ferry terminals might be inadequate since they have to operate up to 10 p.m. Moreover, bigger boats might have to be unnecessarily built if their roof has to tap more solar power. It is in this context that power from a solar farm becomes necessary. Excess power if any can be charged back into the power grid and sold [to KSEB] like what CIAL is doing.”
According to the report the cost of batteries will come to around 40% of the estimated Rs.4.5 crore for 100-seater ferries and Rs.2.5 crore for 50-seater ones. The smaller vessels will be around 6 metres shorter than the bigger ones.