St. Scholastica’s Academy-Marikina (SSAM) joined the growing number of solar power-equipped private schools around Metro Manila with the activation of its 204 kilowatt peak (kWp) rooftop solar PV system last week.
The installation, which is mounted on the roofs of two of the school’s buildings, is now the largest solar photovoltaic system in Marikina City, leading the way for the adoption of solar technology in the city, said Mayor Marcelino Teodoro.
“Solar technology is not just a strategy to tackle climate change and global warming, but it also addresses the high cost of electricity that burdens both the poor and the middle class,” Teodoro said at the switch-on ceremonies for SSAM’s solar PV system.
Teodoro said solar technology will help the city’s “lowly constituents to pursue livelihood opportunities” and enhance its livability and competitiveness.
“The adoption of solar PV system is a long-term solution we envision for our city to promote and sustain self-sufficient communities that can produce their own power and change their perspective and lifestyle as an off shoot of sufficiency,” said Teodoro.
He added, “Further development of access to energy shall also mean improved access to education and other welfare programs and services for our citizens.”
He explained that reducing cost on utility bills would also increase household income and purchasing power besides providing “better lighting and better ventilation for the poor communities.”
Solar solutions provider Green Heat installed SSAM’s solar rooftops, its sixth solar school since 2012, including the 96 kWp solar PV systems of Manuel L. Quezon University in Manila and St. Paul College in Parañaque.
The company is presently working on the solar rooftop of Canossa School of Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
SSAM followed in the footsteps of its sister school in Manila, St. Scholastica’s College, which installed its solar rooftop in December 2014.
SSAM’s solar power plant can generate 216,948 kilowatt-hours each year.
The 55-year-old private Catholic school for girls, which offers elementary and secondary education, will save as much as P19 million every year on its electricity bill based on an average rate of P10 per kilowatt-hour.
This is consistent with the “Benedictine tradition of academic excellence as well as its social responsibility for the environment,” according to SSAM grade school principal Sister Alexis Lamarroza, OSB.
“God provides ways and means for people to restore earth to its former grandeur, and solar technology is one way to achieve such,” said Lamarroza.
“The clean, pure energy from the sun will help reduce air and water pollution, cut global warming emission, diversify our power supply and decrease dependence on coal and other fossil fuels,” she explained.
“With the sun being the most abundant, accessible source of energy, especially in a tropical country like ours, turning on to the sun is a completely viable energy solution,” she added.
Ideal facility for solar
A total of 680 solar panels spread over 1,320 sqm of rooftop space were installed on top of SSAM’s newly built seven-story St. Scholastica and four-story St. Benedictine buildings.
Each building has a 102-kilowatt peak (kWp) solar power plant.
The grid-connected installation located in Marikina Heights produces approximately 40 percent of SSAM’s electricity consumption.
“Our solar rooftops are part of the green measures that we have initiated in our campus through our conservation committee,” said SSAM Treasurer Sr. Celeste Licas, OSB.
“This includes the use of LED in our lighting system and inverter air-conditioners to reduce carbon dioxide emission and subsequently save on our electricity bill,” she said.
As a form of green energy, a solar PV system is widely recognized to be efficient and effective and requiring little maintenance.