Bandra Worli sealink to go green, switch to solar power from April 2017
In a bid to save on electricity bills and pave way for green energy, the 5.6 km stretch of the Bandra Worli sealink will be illuminated with the help of solar panels from April this year.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has already floated bids to appoint a new toll operator, who will also be responsible for installing the solar panels. The term of the current operator, MEP Infrastructure, ends in February.
The panels will be installed at the Bandra-end of the sealink by March and get functional by April. MSRDC estimates that the switch to solar energy would cut down their electricity bills by 60 to 65 percent.
The switch to solar energy is in line with the Central government’s initiative of promoting clean energy and reducing the carbon footprint. The solar panels will generate 355 kilovolts (KV).
“We have already floated bids for the change of operation and maintenance of contractor for the sealink. The current operator MEP infrastructure’s tenure will end by February,” Kiran Kurundkar, joint managing director, MSRDC told the Asian Age.
“While appointing the new operator against the upfront payment of Rs 360 crore, one of our condition that the contractor will have to fulfil is installation of solar panels for generating electricity for the sea link.” she added.
According to an MSRDC official, the current expenditure on electricity, which is provided by BEST and Reliance Energy, is around Rs 1.1 crore annually.
The panels will reportedly be used to illuminate the 50 streetlights, toll booths, suspended cables, command centre and aviation obstruction signal.
The Bandra Worli sealink, which connects South Mumbai with the suburbs, was thrown open for public in 2009. Despite being one of the highest tolled roads (toll/per km) in the country, the toll tax for using the sealink is expected to be hiked in 2018.