A 35-kilowatt power (kWp) solar power plant consisting of 100 panels will generate 54,000 units annually or an average of 148 units per day for the school
To mark the 150th-year celebrations of St Xavier’s High School in Fort, its administration decided to install a solar power plant on October 31 this year.
A 35-kilowatt power (kWp) solar power plant consisting of 100 panels will generate 54,000 units annually or an average of 148 units per day for the school (a two bedroom-hall-kitchen flat in Mumbai uses 10-12 units of electricity a day). Each solar panel will generate 350 watts of power.
According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), a 35 kWp system mitigates carbon dioxide emissions by 1,076 tonnes over 10 years, which is equivalent to planting 1,722 full-grown teak trees.
In their aim to go green, adopting solar power was the first step, the school management said. “This project gives us a kind of impetus to take newer projects and schemes and to educate children about the environment and its importance practically,” said Father Francis Swami, manager of the school. The solar plant was sponsored by a private company as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative.
Environmentalists welcomed the initiative and suggested other schools should take up similar efforts. “Children will witness this and demand for an environmentally-friendly lifestyle in the future with some of them inventing similar eco-friendly initiatives. We should never forget that India has a huge amount of solar energy which is free,” said Ajay Marathe, an environmentalist.
Maharashtra currently leads the country with maximum rooftop solar power capacity. Of 1,095 megawatt (MW) rooftop solar capacity in India, Maharashtra leads with a maximum number of installations and capacity at 145.09MW, according to data from MNRE.
The solar project installed by Xavier’s is a net-metered project which allows the school to sell excess electricity generated to the public grid. They will be charged only for the net usage. However, schools do not have a fixed usage like residents or factories, but Xavier’s high school expects to generate most out of it as the school functions through the day.
“This is a boon for us and has given our students an opportunity not only to conserve energy but also to support our eco-friendly initiatives,” said Sharmila Sunny, one of the teachers.