St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, has become the first in the city to be completely powered by solar energy.
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In order to meet all its energy requirements, the college has a solar power plant, comprising of 432 solar panels, which provide electricity to power all the facilities. These panels produce a 100 kilo watts of power and were installed at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.6 crore. The solar power plant has been operational since May this year.
The person who initiated the project in the college is former Principal Fr Ambrose Pinto, who resigned this April. Explaining the significance of the college’s shift to solar energy, he said, "We strive to teach our students the advantages of using renewable sources of energy. This solar power plant gives us a chance to show them that it is possible to do so."
The staff members of the institution also recognise the impact that this move has made. "There is an imminent energy crisis in India. By harnessing solar energy which is free, we are saving our limited conventional sources of energy," explained Kiran Jeevan, from the department of Social Work.
Students of the college are also proud of this achievement. Pramod Dominic, a second year BCA student said, "It’s great to know the college is running on solar power. Right from our formative years in school, we were always taught about sustainable development. But now, this solar project shows that it’s not just talk, but it’s actually possible to use renewable energy on such a large scale."
This pioneering project has set an example which other institutions can seek to emulate. As Lydia Samuel, Principal of Baldwin Women’s Methodist College pointed out, "This is an interesting and innovative venture. We could probably consider adopting something similar a few years down the line."
St Josephs College also hopes that it will be a model for other colleges, and is forthcoming about sharing information regarding the entire process of harnessing solar energy.
Yellappa Reddy, an environmentalist, also opined that the college’s steps to adopt green technology, was a welcome sign. "This initiative is interesting. It should also be known that using nuclear energy, hydro power, thermal power, etc., harm the environment and disturbs the biodiversity. Safe natural resources such as solar and wind energy are better options," he said. ⊕