Solar panels for 100 Delhi government schools are currently in the works, with the government planning on extending it to 500 more schools.
Last year, the education department signed an agreement with the power department, and 21 schools were fitted with solar panels on a pilot basis. A feasibility study by the power department found 550 school buildings suitable for setting up the panels. Director of Education Binay Bhushan said the pilot schools have reported lesser recurring costs.
“A school in Andrews Ganj would get a monthly electricity bill of Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000. This was brought down to Rs 7,000; for the last three months, it has come down to zero. Currently work is on to install panels in 100 other schools and is close to completion. Once done, work will begin in another 100,” he said.
“There are certain direct benefits for schools and the education department. With the reduction of recurring costs, the department’s resources can be diverted elsewhere. The in-house production of electricity can also enable schools to afford certain comforts for students, like ACs in auditoriums, which they would have not considered due to costs. Mostly, it is important for all of Delhi, where we are trying to encourage green electricity,” said Education Minister Manish Sisodia.
Bhushan said the number of schools feasible for installation of solar panels is likely to increase. “When the feasibility study was conducted, some schools were operating from temporary structures. Work on 174 new school buildings has been completed, and is underway in 239 schools now. The PWD has been instructed to construct these with straight roofs instead of sloping roofs so that solar panels can be feasible,” he said.