The St. Paul’s High School in Camp Belagavi has set sail towards major development and improvement, in its pursuit to continue to be a trend-setter and pioneer – “An Educational Institution Par Excellence.”
The school management was working on a huge project – A mission to Go Green, to join the global effort in reducing greenhouse gases.
The vision to make St. Paul’s move toward green energy took birth much earlier among the Jesuit Fathers, and the project was taken up by the management as part of the Worldwide Jesuits renewed Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs), of “Caring for our Common Home (Mother Nature).” The Preferences give a point of reference to the whole Society of Jesus.
The St. Paul’s Rooftop Solar, formally inaugurated on 5th September 2021, thus, is the beginning of our “Go Green” Initiative, and the most important piece of the puzzle.
At the initial stages, during the brainstorming sessions, many wondered whether the benefits would outweigh costs and whether the same investment could be put to better use in other avenues. But the management had a clear vision in mind, to show the path to renewable energy, and do our bit to reduce greenhouse emissions; to heal mother nature.
In order to reduce and ally eliminate our carbon footprint, we need to replace our energy sources, from conventional modes to other viable options – Solar being an efficient alternative as it is relatively affordable, easy to install, and requires little or no maintenance.
A deadline of September and decided to complete the project in time for Teacher’s Day Celebrations. While the second wave of Covid was at its peak in the months between April and June, and owing to our geographic location, there were no easy travel options to Belagavi from our most important neighbors – Goa and Maharashtra, they were in a literal dilemma on how to make arrangements of the material as well as qualified personnel to setup the project. But then, having Fr. Nigel Alphonso SJ (the Solar Man of the Goa Jesuits) on the team, meant that we had already being with full throttle.
The entire Jesuit community has supported the project with valuable suggestions and inputs; and has backed our team in every little way to team to implement the project.
Keeping in mind the power requirement for all the buildings and grounds, a 79kW On- Grid Solar Plant has been installed on the roofs of the two storied building in the main campus, and the ICSE building (old Sunbeam Nursery), in the extended campus. It has not only reduced the school power consumption to “Zero,” but is also giving the management a small return on investment from the Hescom authorities.
What “On-Grid” means is that while the school gets necessary electricity from the solar panels during the day, it gets electricity from Hescom during the night. In simple terms, there is constant realtime exchange of electricity between the school and Hescom, any excess or deficiency in power is compensated by the grid, thus ensuring there is always enough electricity.
What the project has achieved?
Heavily reduced Carbon footprint
Near “Zero” Gird power consumption
A live working Science Project that can be studied by the students of all our institutions, for many years to come.
Source: The Paulite Link Magazine