Schools turn to solar power for efficient energy use

In Photo: Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) and Saint Scholastica’s College (SSC) have their solar PV rooftops installed by Propmech Corp. Present during the contract-signing were (from left) SSC President Sis. Mary Frances Dizon, SSC Vice President for Finance Sis. Marianne Razon, Edward Antonio of Propmech’s office of the managing director, MLQU School of Engineering Dean Rogelio Avenido, Propmech Chief Operating Officer Helen Tong and MLQU Mechanical Engineering Department Head Venancio Aznar.

AS the country braces for a looming power shortage early next year, leading tertiary schools Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) and Saint Scholastica’s College (SSC) are now equipped to use energy efficiently with their respective roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) system operating by the end of this month.

As one of the greener forms of energy, the solar PV system has been widely recognized as efficient, effective and requires little maintenance. “We want to promote and popularize the use of solar PV as an energy source,” MLQU School of Engineering Dean Rogelio Avenido said.

SSC President Sis. Mary Frances Dizon said, “As our congregation is entrusted with taking care of Mother Earth, we take responsibility in educating our people on how they can take care of our environment.” MLQU and SSC have 96kWp-solar PV system installed on their rooftops by leading solar power provider Propmech Corp. Propmech will also handle the operation, monitoring and evaluation of their systems. The power capacity of each school will be registered under the net-metering system of power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

Net-metering is the first non-fiscal mechanism under Republic Act 9513 that allows customers with renewable energy facilities to export their system’s excess energy back to the distribution utility’s distribution system.

Hence, when MLQU and SSC have excess energy, which may occur during weekends, their surplus energy will be exported back to Meralco, which, in turn, will pay them for the cost of electricity that goes back to the power grid.

Propmech Corp., a local solar PV system provider, has completed several milestone RE projects in the country, including the Asian Development Bank’s roof-mounted solar-power plant, the rural electrification program of the Philippine government and Meralco’s own solar PV center.

Propmech provides free consultation to determine the kind of PV system clients need to get the best return on their investment and energy production.

Early this year, the Department of Energy launched a program to double the country’s total RE installation of 5,521 megawatts by encouraging schools to use solar PV systems.

The department plans to put up roof-mounted solar PV systems in all private schools in Metro Manila by 2015.

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