Sun, Sep 23, 2007 - Page 2 News List

TRA to install solar panel at Taipei Railway Station

ANSWERING THE CALL The project was launched after the Bureau of Energy urged government agencies to use `green' energy and offered to subsidize their efforts

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) said yesterday that it will soon install a large solar energy panel at the Taipei Railway Station to generate electricity for its own use.

Once completed, the administration said the panel would reduce the station's consumption of electricity from other sources by 5 percent to 10 percent, which could translate to savings of NT$480,000 to NT$950,000 on its monthly electricity bill.

The project was launched in response to the Bureau of Energy's call for government organizations to use solar panels to generate electricity.

As an incentive, the bureau offered to pay for between 50 percent and 100 percent of construction costs, depending on where the panel will be installed.

The installation of the station's panel is expected to cost around NT$156 million.

The administration is seeking full reimbursement for the project from the bureau.

It is also considering installing the approximately 13,000m2 panel in the plaza on the station's west side.

The administration hopes to make other changes in the plaza to create an exhibit introducing the importance of "green" energy to passersby.

It proposes using the electricity generated through the solar panel to power facilities inside the station. Train operations would still be powered by electricity purchased from Taiwan Power Co.

The panel would produce as much as 900 kilowatt-hours daily, the administration said in its proposal. Each kilowatt-hour of solar power would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,300kg, it said.

The Taipei Railway Station is the hub for the city's major rail systems, including the TRA, the Taiwan High Speed Rail, the Taipei MRT systems and the future line to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

TRA Director-General Frank Fan (范植谷) said that as so many people pass through the station each day, it is the best location to promote solar energy.

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