AFTER many years of studying in the dark, schoolchildren in 12 public elementary and high schools in the municipalities of Rodriguez and Tanay in Rizal Province are finally going to experience the benefits of electricity.
This after One Meralco Foundation (OMF), the social development arm of Manila Electric Company (Meralco), installed a solar photovoltaic system in each school.
The OMF has partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) to provide an alternative energy source for these schools, which are located in communities that are too far away from the nearest electrical infrastructure.
“One Meralco Foundation is determined to make access to electricity available in communities that are too distant from the power grid and those with financial dearth that energization could be a tough challenge,” said Jeffrey O. Tarayao, president of One Meralco Foundation.
The foundation installed a 1-kilowatt peak (kWp) photovoltaic system in each school (2 kilowatts in some schools) and the necessary electrical connections in classrooms and offices.
The system is capable of powering the light bulbs and electric fans in classrooms, a laptop computer and a multimedia system.
Like most solar-powered systems, the facility consists of a high-output solar panel which converts sunlight into a continuous electrical charge that is stored in a series of batteries.
The stored energy is then converted to alternating current and stepped up to 220V (the standard voltage in households) with the use of an inverter.
The foundation will also shoulder the expense of maintaining the system for a year and the school takes on this responsibility thereafter.
Among the schools that will benefit from the project are Macabud Elementary School, Macaingalan Elementary School, Macaingalan High School, Cayabu Elementary School, Cayabu High School, Laiban Elementary School, Laiban High School, Tinucan Elementary School, San Andres Elementary School, Tablon Elementary School, Pinagsabiran Elementary School and Mamuyao Elementary School.
OMF’s School Electrification Program was launched in 2012 with the purpose of providing an alternative energy source for public elementary and high schools located in hard- to-reach communities and in isolated islands.