Sun, Sep 23, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Program to install 12MW of solar panels on schools

SUNNY COUNTY:The education ministry said Changhua County could serve as an example for others, after it signed a contract to cover 110 sports fields with solar installations

By Lin Liang-che  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Solar panels cover the rooftops of the National Yunlin Special Education School on the northern Chianan Plain in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Education

Public schools are invited to apply for solar panels for their rooftops, the Ministry of Education said yesterday, adding that it expects to add 12 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity with the program.

Building photovoltaic installations on rooftops would help schools reduce their carbon emissions, increase their budgets and teach students about renewable energy, the ministry said.

National Yunlin Special Education School has leased its roof to a company that installed 444 kilowatts (KW) of solar capacity, which were connected to the power grid in February, it said.

Last month, it added 237KW in capacity, which it expects to link up by the end of the year, the ministry said.

The school stands on the northern Chianan Plain (嘉南平原) in southern Taiwan, where sunlight is abundant, school principal Lin Yi-wen (林逸文) said, adding that installing solar panels has reduced the school’s carbon footprint and represents a more efficient use of floor space.

A two-year Executive Yuan project promoting solar installations launched in 2016 aims for 44MW of photovoltaic capacity at public schools by the end of the year, about the yearly consumption of 12,763 households.

The ministry aims to install 12MW of capacity, which would add the equivalent of 3,473 households’ yearly power consumption to the grid.

In related developments, the Changhua County Government on Tuesday signed a contract with energy developer SAS Sunrise Inc (旭忠能源) to install solar-panel roofs over 110 school sports areas in the county over the next two years, county Commissioner Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) said.

The county government stands to earn 3.5 percent of the income generated by the solar panels, while the construction costs of NT$700 million (US$22.79 million) are to be borne by the company, Wei said.

The roofs would shield students from sun and rain when exercising, he said.

The project is part of a three-stage county plan to promote renewable installations on campuses and follows a rooftop installation program under which participating schools are entitled to 24 percent of income from electricity sales.

Changhua has the best conditions in Taiwan for solar and wind power generation and its renewable energy policies could serve as an example for other municipalities, Deputy Minister of Education Fan Sun-lu (范巽綠) said.

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