As per the guidelines by the Government of India, the smart cities are required at least 10 percent of its total energy requirement to be met by solar power generation. As the smart cities across the country are developing, consequently, the energy requirement in cities will rise up, so, the development of solar power capacity needs urgent attention to develop as soon as possible. So, some of the smart cities are doing well, particularly in this sector. Here, we have shared experiences of some of the smart cities in India with respect to the solar power energy generation.

NDMC SCL has taken various initiatives and projects in energy conservation through the non-renewable source of power generation. Some of its best initiatives have been listed below.

Smart Meter Installation: NDMC has become the first distribution company (DISCOM) in India to implement 100 percent smart metering solution. The adoption of smart meters will enhance consumer convenience and rationalize electricity consumption. The Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New and Renewable Energy has announced the completion of the project to replace 50,000 conventional electricity meters with smart meters in the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on January 9, 2019. Adoption of smart meters will ensure efficient management of electricity by checking data-entry errors, billing inefficiencies and cutting the costs of manual meter reading through the web-based monitoring system. Smart Meters will revolutionize the power sector through their vast cascade of benefits including reduced Aggregate Technical & Commercial losses (AT&C losses), better health of DISCOMs, and incentivization of energy conservation and ease of bill payments.

The feature of the smart meter also has been included in the Homepage of NDMC 311 mobile application that will enable the consumers to access various services at the tap of a finger. This is an attempt to make more convenient and easy-to-access the mobile application in order to know about their energy habits and consumption through detailed and personalized insights. The adoption of Smart Meters will lead to total annual savings of INR 12.47 crores to NDMC which include revenue due to improvement in billing efficiency. The AT&C losses are estimated to be 12.63 percent.

Smart Poles: In its bid to give a thrust to the Government’s Smart City Mission, New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has installed 55 energy saving smart poles in the Connaught place in Delhi. The poles boast of air sensors, energy-saving LED lighting and WiFi connectivity. Lights of these poles would automatically be dimmed for saving energy during non-peak traffic hours. This step by NDMC is a new initiative where sensor-based smart lighting technology will help the city run more efficiently making it look futuristic at the same time.

These Smart Poles will help achieve the smart city mission objectives keeping in mind citizen’s requirements in the areas of safety, environment, and connectivity and next-generation mobile services along with a robust fibre infrastructure and to make the city clean, safe and smart.

The smart poles also enable installation of 4G based-technology by telecom service providers to support strong mobile data network.

NDMC installed Smart Poles with ‘panic button’ near the gates of 43 school buildings, 16 metro stations, and other sensitive spots. The moment someone presses the panic button, an alert will be sent to the command centre which works round-the-clock. The officers at the command centre will communicate with the person through speakers on the smart pole. There will be a facility for two-way communication through this button as well. The person will be provided with help depending on their grievance. The CCTV cameras on these poles will be equipped to revolve 360 degrees and will be able to capture footage of up to the range of 100 meters.

The installation of these poles will also be at prominent markets such as Sarojini Nagar, Bengali Market, Netaji Nagar, BK Dutt Colony, Bengali Market, and Gole Market.

The LED light can be remotely switched on or off. A time schedule for these has also been set up. For example, after midnight some lights can be powered down to 50-60 percent. We can monitor and decide depending on the requirement. 17,500 LED’s are installed for better illumination.

Solar Power Initiatives: One of the major components of Smart City initiative, which NDMC is part of, is to reduce the dependence of cities on non-renewable energy resources and shift toward the use of renewable energy resources. Solar energy and energy efficient and green buildings have been prescribed as a focus for Smart Cities’ energy requirement management.

Roof Top Solar Panels: Solar Panels are mounted on the rooftop of a residential or commercial building or structure involving schools, building, and embassies.

NDMC has recently started implementing solar rooftops for harnessing solar power in municipal buildings; grid-connected rooftop solar power has been installations on multiple government/ public buildings in NDMC area.

Solar power installations of an aggregate capacity of 1,495 kilowatt-peak (kWp) have been installed on 28 different government buildings in NDMC area.

Impacts of solar initiatives-

  • Reduced the dependency on conventional source s of power.
  • Reduced carbon emission contributing to reduced environmental pollution.
  • Cost cutting for government office s with respect to power bills.

The total cost incurred for installing the solar power capacity was INR 93,908,425. The funding is through a mix of RESCO and Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) model. According to the policy, the project has also received a 30 percent capital subsidy from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Solar Integrated Lighting Poles: The council plans to install 55 smart poles in Connaught Place and five other major roads under its jurisdiction.  The step by NDMC is new initiatives where smart lighting technology will help the city run more efficiently, making it look futuristic at the same time. The body of the poles is used as solar panels.

The DISCOM is also maintaining 10,000 new and efficient octagonal streetlight poles that have been installed by the Public Works Department (PWD).

Solar Bus Queue Shelters: NDMC has taken a positive initiative towards Smart City in Delhi by installing solar panels at bus stops as a pilot project. NDMC also plans to develop roads and bus stops. NDMC has converted a small portion into smart roads by installing solar panels and the same would be replicated across New Delhi area.

The goal is not only to provide convenience to all the passengers by setting up solar bus stops but also produce clean energy for the environment. The plan is to generate more electricity.

The government has set a target of generating 1000MW of solar power in the next five years.

Two state-of-the-art solar bus queue shelters are already functional on Shanti Path which would be the template for four more. The top and sides of these Bus Shelter Queues (BSQ) are covered with solar panels embedded in toughened glass fixed in steel framework making it first such endeavor in the country.

Key Features are aesthetic in appearance, generates 2.7 kW each, connected to the grid and roof and walls of BQS is made of tempered glasses and sandwiching solar panels

Solar Trees: Giving a boost to its solar power initiatives, the New Delhi Municipal Council will install four more solar trees in Central Delhi area. The council has already installed one solar tree at B Block in Connaught Place and is eyeing more such units.

The solar tree has nine petals, top of which are covered with flexible solar panels, capable of generating 1.26KW. It has a sitting area for 16 persons and is equipped with IP67 digital interactive panel, LED lights and charging points for mobiles.

Apart from providing mobile charging facility, it is giving an aesthetic look particularly after sunset, when the leaves of the solar tree light up. This has been developed by Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and the solar panels have been sourced from Central Electronics Limited (CEL).

Warm LED Street Lights: This is the first time in India that Warm LED Street Lights are installed in the NDMC by the government. Warm white LED street lights and parking lot lights—with a CCT of 3000K or less—are a much better option for public outdoor areas. They emit a much smaller portion of blue light—which is unnoticeable to the eye—and are currently the best options available for street lighting.

The LED streetlight is an important project which will result in better illumination of the roads for better safety while ensuring energy efficiency and savings of more than 15MW of peak demand.

Electric Vehicles: Depleting air quality and greenhouse gas emissions requires Indian cities – and particularly New Delhi – to shift from internal combustion engine vehicles to more environment-friendly but cost-effective transport solutions. The country is actively exploring cost-effective and viable solutions to the problem of poor air quality in a number of its cities as well as reducing its excessive dependence on oil imports. India has announced a significant shift to an all-electric fleet by 2030. In this endeavor, NDMC has procured 32 electric vehicles (EVs) through EESL.

Public e-charging Stations: NDMC has already established 28 AC and 9 DC charging stations for its captive use. In the next step, NDMC is envisaging to install public re-charging stations at convenient places for ease of Electric Vehicle charging for the general public. To achieve this, NDMC has signed an MoU with Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), a company under the Ministry of Power for installation of 100 public re-charging facilities in NDMC area. Under this, NDMC will provide the space at appropriate locations and EESL will bear the upfront cost and the will share the revenue with NDMC work will be completed by March 2019.