The Vijayawada railway station under the South Central Railway (SCR) zone has emerged as the first station in India to equip platforms with Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) solar roof, installing a total capacity of 130 kWp of solar power.

On Wednesday, divisional railway manager P. Srinivas virtually commissioned a 65 kWp solar roof at the railway station.

“With this, Vijayawada station now boasts of an innovative solar photovoltaic cover-over-platform (COP) having the highest capacity of 130 kWp across the Indian Railways network,” said a railway zone official.

He said the BIPV solar roof with integrated solar panels without any galvanised sheets will act as a shelter for passengers, in addition to harnessing solar energy.

The solar panels will enable the busy railway station to save up to Rs 8 lakh in power tariff annually, catering to 18 per cent of the station’s power requirement.

Srinivas instructed the officials to cover the gap between the existing shelter and the BIPV roof for a length of 32 metres on Platform No. 4 and 5, requiring 65 kWp solar plant sanctioning.

“Accordingly, 54 kWp on Platform No. 4 and 5 and 11 kWp on Platform No. 8 and 9 covering 8 metres length shelter was erected and commissioned,” he said.

In December 2019, a high-capacity BIPV solar plant with a capacity 65 kWp was installed on Platform No. 4 and 5 for a length of 33 metres.

“With these solar panels, a total capacity of 130 kWp solar roof has been installed at the Vijayawada station, resulting in total savings of around 2.12 lakh units per year, saving a sum of Rs 16.36 lakh per annum,” he noted.

Besides reducing the railway station’s carbon footprint, the cost incurred in installing the BIPV solar plant can also be recouped in seven years and six months, the officils said.