The West Bengal Government has decided to install solar panels in approximately 2000 schools, by 2019. Through this step, they are achieving the twin goals of lower power expenses and making a strong case for sustainable energy for future generations.
This is not the first time educational institutes have been brought under the solar umbrella. Far away from Bengal, in Puducherry, there is a school which is self-reliant in terms of energy, sharing the excess it produces with other buildings in the area. Read more about how the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE) has been operating on green energy, since September 2014.
In rural Maharashtra, a device running on solar energy helps students access engaging multimedia content. ConnectEd’s smart classroom system, is meant to aid teachers in classes using audio-visual content. Read about how its battery-operated hi-definition projector runs solely on solar power, here.
However, in West Bengal, this seems to be an umbrella move, covering a large number of schools.
According to Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, the Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources Minister, who has been quoted in The Statesman, around 673 school roofs already have solar panels installed, and the remaining should have their roofs fitted with panels soon. The optimistic minister spoke of the 1000-school target by March, and mentioned a fresh 1000-school target, for the next financial year.
Apart from schools, solar panels have also been installed in around 21 colleges and five universities.
Bakreswar, Sagardighi and Santhaldighi have thermal power plants and huge water bodies. These water bodies will have ‘floating solar panels’ installed on them. The department will insulate the overhead cables, so they won’t be tampered with, thus reducing loss of power from power theft.
The ambitious project has identified 100 areas, infamous for power theft, and around 140 km of Aerial Bundled (AB) cables have been introduced over there. These cables are power lines which facilitate better management of overhead wires, for electricity distribution, and also prevent hooking, which is the most common method of power theft.
According to the minister, the department has also come up with a master plan to meet the state’s power demand by 2025. This includes a sustainable power development initiative which would involve all kinds of conventional and non-conventional sources of energy being linked to the grid, for the purpose of supplying power as required.
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The use of solar power in approximately 2000 schools will save West Bengal a lot of money but will have another, lasting effect—proving to the future generation, that solar power or other non-conventional energy sources are the best bet for the future.