MLC plans to give solar power to 50 schools

Progressive idea:Member of Legislative Council Ivan D’Souza (right) estimates the total cost of the project at Rs. 1.25 crore.— photos: by special arrangement and h.s. manjunath  

Five government and aided schools in each of the eight Assembly segments of Dakshina Kannada district are set to become self-sufficient as far as electricity is concerned, and may even accumulate income by selling power to the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM).

This is thanks to the resolve of Member of Legislative Council Ivan D’Souza to promote solar energy everywhere. Mr. D’ Souza plans to install 3-kW solar units, each costing about Rs. 2.5 lakh, using the MLC’s local area development fund as well as corporate funds and donations.

Apart from the 40 schools, there will be 10 schools in reserve — taking the total to 50. The total cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs. 1.25 crore.

Mr. D’ Souza told reporters on Thursday that he would soon write to every MLA in the district to suggest five schools from their constituency. The MLAs may send their suggestions directly to him or through the office of the deputy commissioner. The MLC hopes to complete the project within one year.

Mr. D’ Souza said a 3-kW unit would be capable of producing 12 units of power every day. This means it can produce 360 units a month. At the rate MESCOM is currently offering for such power (Rs. 9.56 per unit), the schools will together be able to earn Rs. 1.72 lakh a month, he said.

He said the schools could use this money for improving infrastructure and sports facilities. The MLC noted that with schools remaining closed for about four months a year on account of holidays, the surplus could be a lot more.

He also said the schools would not have to worry about maintaining the solar panels as they will have a 25-year warranty.

Mr. D’ Souza said he has already installed solar panels on his rooftop, and they can generate 1,200 units of power every day. He has also spent Rs. 26 lakh to provide solar rooftop units to 40 houses in endosulfan-affected villages, one to the office of the deputy commissioner and six to various gram panchayat offices.

his idea

Ivan D’ Souza, MLC, plans to write to eight MLAs in the district to identify five schools each

The schools will be provided with a

3-kW unit each

Each unit can produce 12 units of power daily

Funding will come from MLC area development fund and corporates