A school in Ghatkopar has joined the growing number of institutes in the city which have adopted solar energy to cater to their electricity needs. By installing solar panels in its premises, ST Mehta School is set to save Rs. 2.5 lakh every year.
“Solar energy is not only cost effective, but also benefits the environment in the long run,” said Abhay Khetani, trustee, Shri Pandit Ratnachandraji Jain (SPRJ) Kanyashala Trust, which runs the school.
In December 2018, the school installed a 16.25 kilowatt-power (kWp) rooftop solar plant, consisting of 50 panels. Prior to the installation of the panels, the school paid Rs. 73,300 for consuming 4,900 units (Rs. 15 per unit rate). However, in February, after the installation, the electricity bill dropped to Rs. 45,120 for the same number of units. The school’s trustees said that they expect the annual power bills to come down by 34% (Rs. 2.5 lakh).
“There is an overall reduction of 38% in the monthly electricity bills,” said Animesh Manek, founder-director of Avishakti Rooftop Solar Pvt Ltd – the firm that installed the plant.
Among the other equipment, the school’s lighting fixtures and air conditioners installed in a 5,000 sq ft auditorium are run on solar power.
Khetani said that the Centre’s net metering policy has helped them. “Our school is eligible for a subsidy on this project through the Centre’s financial assistance scheme,” he said.
Meena Khetani, managing trustee, SPRJ trust, said educational institutes get high utility bills for which such projects are sustainable options.
“Our decision to go solar was also motivated by the fact that the project will contribute in reducing the carbon footprints. The resultant impact will be equivalent to planting 787 teak trees over a lifetime,” she