THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Solar energy, for a long time, has been highlighted for its various benefits and advantages. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise seeing the number of city schools which have started depending on the unconventional source of energy.
St Mary’s Central School, Poojappura, has just joined the official list of schools in the city owning solar power plants as their main source of energy. The school organised the official inauguration of the plant on Tuesday. District Collector Biju Prabhakar inaugurated the solar power units. S V Krishnakumar, director, Employee State Insurance, Kerala, offered felicitations. Sreejith Rajan, CEO, Helios; school principal Anila Sarosh; and academic supervisor Capt Pramod Kumar were also present.
A school building holds an array of solar power panels, the combined capacity of which is 27 KW. The panels together cost around Rs 37 lakh.
Entering the junior block of the school, one chances upon messages scribbled by students on the school notice board. The writings mention the benefits and lesser-known facts about solar energy, coupled with messages like ‘Save Energy’.
Says school principal Anila Sarosh: “We had installed solar power panels in the Senior block, which houses classrooms from VIII to XII, last year itself. However, we decided to have a trial run for a year. The power plant for the Junior section was recently installed, and hence, we opted to have the official inauguration now.”
“At the place of an electricity bill coming up to Rs 30,000 per month, now it’s just Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per month. This is a time of energy shortage and hence we need to look at more environment-friendly sources. The next generation needs to be more socially aware,” said a school official.
One may wonder about the power-generating capacity of solar power plants at the time of incessant rains plaguing the city. Elaborating on this, Sreejith Rajan, CEO of Helios, which has installed the plant in the school, said: “It is a popular misconception that for a solar plant to work, it either needs direct rays from the sun to fall on it or it has to be really sunny outside. Solar plants are used more extensively in Germany and other European countries, which have temperate climates, and recently, Germany became one of the countries to produce solar energy in excess of what was actually needed.”