Published: 11th September 2019
This Hyderabad-based solar energy firm is distributing electricity to schools for just Re 1 a unit
This solar plant in the school in New Bhoiguda was commissioned on August 6, 2018. It has been supplying power to run ten classrooms, lights, fans, projectors and so on
There are no two ways about the fact that paying electricity bills must be eating away more than half of the funding the government schools receive. To mitigate this, the Hyderabad-based Fourth Power Energy, one of the largest companies in the distributed solar sector, started Power@1 where they provide electricity for just Re 1 per unit. A one-time capital cost is paid by a corporate sponsor and from then on, even maintenance and is taken care of by Fourth Power Energy. "Corporate partners can utilise CSR funds in a more sustainable and transparent manner and beneficiaries can focus resources for their core activities. It’s a win-win solution for all stakeholders," says Smit Malkan, Power@1 Lead, Fourth Partner Energy.
The capacity of the solar plant at Government Primary School, New Bhoiguda is 2 kWp
To hear about the success stories of Government Primary School, Shaikpet and Government Primary School, New Bhoiguda, Secunderabad we got in touch with Pallavi Saxena, Marketing and Communications, Fourth Partner Energy. "When our in-house team interacted with the heads of the school, we realised that after paying the electricity bill, they have almost nothing left for things like sanitation work. In some instances, teachers have got bathrooms clean by paying from their own pocket," she explains. Today, the schools feel ownership to the plant and not only this, use the plant as an example to enlighten students about being more eco-friendly — looks like most of the objectives of the company have been met.
Let there be light: E-classrooms made possible thanks to Power@1 | (Pic: Fourth Power Energy)
The solar plant at the school in Shaikpet was commissioned on March 29, 2019 has generated nearly 1,800 kWh electricity. "More importantly, by switching to solar power, the school’s management will save around `35,000 annually in electricity bills which they intend to towards better housekeeping and maintenance of the school's premises, buying new books for the library and procuring stationery and sporting equipment," explains Pallavi. She also tells us how the school had shut down its second floor because it was not able to pay the additional electricity bill, but thanks to the Power@1 scheme, they started making full use of their infrastructure. And whatever is the excess, is pushed back to the grid and they are credited for it. Their partner in this project is Maanaveeya Development and Finance, an Indian subsidiary of OikoCredit. "This solar plant has positively impacted the lives of over 570 students studying across classes I to V in this government school. The carbon offset from this plant alone is around seven tonnes every year," she informs. On the agenda are not just educational institutions, they are also targeting low-income primary health care centres and non-profits.
Here's what the heads had to say
This solar plant in our school premises has brought my students so much happiness. Prior to this set-up, the school was paying Rs 7-8 per unit, but now, with these solar savings, funds can be directed towards buying vital learning material and towards the maintenance of the premises
Y Kezia Mani, Headmistress, Government Primary School, Shaikpet | (Pic: Fourth Power Energy)
Earlier, we used to struggle to pay electricity bills and had huge outstanding bills. There was not enough money left for anything else. Having solar under the Power@1 scheme will help us save more than 80 per cent in power bills which will be used for purchasing stationery for classrooms, books for the library and upkeep of the bathrooms
Prabhakar Chowtapally, Headmaster, Government Primary School, New Bhoiguda | (Pic: Fourth Power Energy)
For more on them, check out fourthpartner.co