Kochi educational institutions become solar

KOCHI: The city's educational institutions are taking the green road with many universities and schools, both governmental and with and without help, that now work on solar rooftop projects to reduce dependence on conventional energy sources and reduce the footprint carbon In addition, several institutions plan to increase the capacity of their existing solar projects and aspire to be totally solar.

Among the latest developments, around 11 government educational institutions, including Maharaja's College, will soon launch solar rooftop projects within two months as part of the 1 MW capacity in government buildings planned by Cochin Smart Mission Ltd (CSML) in the SmartCity project framework. In addition to the CSML project, they are being built at St Albert’s College and School. Sacred Heart College, Thevara, is also planning plans and expects it to be fully powered by solar energy for the next academic year.

Under the CSML project, Maharaja’s College will have a 70kW solar project, of which 50kW and 20kW solar panels will be installed on the roof of the children's shelter and the Britto building on campus. The works are in the final stage and the project is pending inspection by the electrical inspection, followed by commissioning.

Maharaja’s College is the only university under the CSML project, which is expected to reduce the university's electricity consumption to almost half of current consumption. This will help the university to save around Rs 65,000 per month. Although the capacity could have increased much more than 70kW to meet all the requirements of the university, the lack of sufficient strong roofs in the old building and the green roof inside the campus was a challenge. But with the appearance of two new buildings, capacity expansion is possible in the future, said a university official.

The other educational institutions where installation work is being carried out within the framework of the project are GGHSS Panampilly Nagar (25kW), GGHSS (30kW), GHSS Edakochi (25kW) and GHS Edakochi (20kW), Vennala GHS (40kW), Punnakkal GHS ( 40kW), Kunnumpuram GHS (20kW) and GHSS (20kW), Edappally GHSS (35kW). The works are in different stages and are expected to be commissioned within three months.

The existing solar project at Sacred Heart College meets almost 20% of the university's energy requirements. “We were the first university in Ernakulam to start a solar rooftop project in 2011. The current system has a capacity of 33kW and we are planning to have solar energy in the next academic year. It will help us save around Rs 1.75 lakh per month. Many companies have carried out studies and negotiations of the final terms are underway, ”said the director of the university, Father Prashant Palakkappillil.

The director of the Rajagiri Public School, Father Varghese Kachappilly, said that solar panel installation work at the school has been completed and has not yet been connected to the KSEB power grid. “The project will cover 60% of the school's energy needs. It will be ready during the summer holidays, ”he said.

While the Sacred Heart School, Thevara and Rajagiri Faculty of Social Sciences, Kalamassery, already have existing solar roof projects, of which they plan to increase capacity in the coming years, the Bharata Mata Public School, Thrikkakara and the Public School ToC-H, Vyttila, are totally solar.