Campus connect: Solar energy powering colleges in Pune
Not just colleges, but schools are also picking up the pace to go solar. 150-year-old St Vincent’s School and Junior College, had recently installed a solar power generation plant on its campus that has a capacity of close to 90 KWp power generation.Updated: Jun 08, 2018 14:41 IST
To minimise the cost of energy and settle for a sustainable alternative, a number of educational institutions in the city are choosing to go green. They have installed solar panels to generate electricity that can be used in classrooms, offices and even hostels.
BKPS College of Architecture in Sadashiv Peth, affliated to Savitribai Phule Pune University(SPPU) were among the first colleges to install solar panels on the college buildings. With the net metering model, the college not only uses the electricity generated to run the institution but also benefits by supplying the excess power to the grid for commoner’s use.
“We have two colleges in our premises and we wanted to put the terrace area to good use. By using net metering model, we not only get to use the generated solar power for our operations, but also get the credit for the excess power we send back to the MSEDCL grid. Every month, we get a credit and an amount is cut from our monthly bill, due to the contribution,” said Pushkar Kanvinde, principal.
The system has been operational for more than a year and the college has saved thousands of rupees.
“Before the installation of the solar panels, we use to spend Rs 40,000 per month on electricity bill. This was being reduced from the annual government fund of Rs 1.75 lakh. After we started using solar power, the bill has gone down to Rs 500 per month, and might further go to minus credit in a few months,” said Sanjay Singh, an administrative official at BKPS. The cost for setting up the same was up to Rs 6 lakh with 8 kVA (kilo-volt-ampere) average load, and minimum maintenance over the years.
Meanwhile, SPPU decided to add installing solar panels in the college campus as one of the criteria for incentivizing colleges with Rs 5 lakh cash as part of the quality improvement programme (QIP).
This decision inspired many more to join the initiative. The Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC) was the most recent to get into the ‘go green’ mode. On World Environment Day, they announced plans of using the 10 on-campus buildings to install solar panels. This change is expected to minimise the annual expenditure of Rs 51 lakh on electricity by the college.
Similarly, solar panels have been installed in a number of buildings and hostels in Fergusson College in the past one year.
Another institution which has successfully minimised its electricity bill is Symbiois International University. Across its Pune campuses, the institution now manages to save close to 73 lakhs per year. Its campus on Lavale, with a 550 KWp solar plant was one of the first in the city, in 2015. A 110 kilowattpeak(KWp) solar plant has been added to Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS), Khadki recently.
However, not just colleges, but schools are also picking up the pace to go solar. 150-year-old St Vincent’s School and Junior College, had recently installed a solar power generation plant on its campus that has a capacity of close to 90 KWp power generation.