Given the growing consciousness about global warming and pollution, the use of solar panels to generate power has been increasing steadily in India. And, it is natural, isn’t it? It is a clean source of energy that does not cause pollution of any kind, makes people self-sufficient and reduces monthly electricity bills. When it comes to installing solar panels, the connection is usually made to residential and commercial properties. But, this is not the only place these panels can be installed. Solar panels can be very beneficial for educational institutions like schools and universities too. Here are some of the key benefits.
Reduced Operational Expenditure
Electricity is a major monthly outgoing expense for any establishment. Schools need electricity to run lights and fans as well as computers, printers, etc. Over time, this can become quite a big amount. Schools and universities have large spaces available on their roof, which is ideal for solar panels. Using solar panels to generate power involves only an initial installation cost. Once the panels are installed and start running, the maintenance charges are minimal. Power can be generated consistently and continually without any additional costs too. Installing solar panels can generate enough electricity required to power the entire campus as well.
Freedom from Power cuts
A power outage can be frustrating and disrupt the normal schedule. And modern teaching methods have increased dependence on technology like computers, smart boards, projectors, etc. Thus, when the lights go off, teaching can get interrupted. Having your own power supply through solar panels protects the institute from such interruptions. Whether the solar panels are installed as off-grid systems or connected to the main power grid, they offer a continuous supply of power, so that teaching can continue throughout the day.
Sustainability Improves Perception
Everyone’s talking about sustainability these days. By installing solar panels on their rooftops, schools and universities can make themselves more independent and sustainable. They can generate their own electricity without contributing to pollution and global warming. This will position the institution as one that cares about renewable energy, and improve its image within the community too. It will also position the school as one that is innovative and creative.
Millennial students are particularly aware of the impact their lives have on the ecology. Eco-minded students would especially prefer to enroll themselves in schools that use solar power rather than conventional power. This is another way for schools to distinguish themselves from each other. Some educational institutions even have dedicated sustainability offices to drive their green initiatives. The result may also be reflected in an increase in the number of students applying for admission.
Give Back to the Community
Installing solar panels does not help only the school. During the holidays, the school may not need as much electricity as is generated. This electricity can be shared with the grid, to be distributed amongst other consumers. Thus, it doesn’t only reduce the school’s dependence on fossil fuels, but it also reduces the entire community’s dependence on fossil fuels. Over time, it can reduce the overall carbon footprint of the entire area.
Schools and universities usually have limited resources for the maintenance and upkeep of their infrastructure. Installing solar panels is beneficial in this case, as it does not increase the maintenance workload. The panels are designed to be strong and durable enough to withstand extreme temperature changes, hurricanes and other such weather anomalies. They can usually last for at least 25-30 years and even longer in places that have mild weather. All that’s needed is to inspect them from time to time and keep debris from accumulating on them.
All in all, installing solar panels on the rooftop of an educational institution has financial, social and image-related benefits. If you haven’t already moved towards this, now is the time to start.