Dubai: The Indian Academy Dubai has installed a rooftop solar plant, spread across three of the school’s buildings, helping offset 70 per cent of its electricity needs through solar energy.
The school, located in Dubai’s Al Qusais area, said it has aligned its objectives of becoming a more sustainable educational institution with Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy, which aims to increase the proportion of clean and renewable energy in Dubai’s energy mix to 75 per cent by 2050.
A year ago, the school decided to embark upon its journey towards sustainability by opting to set up a rooftop solar power plant on campus. The school partnered with CleanMax Solar, a developer of commercial and industrial solar power plants, to setup the rooftop solar plant, which was completed in August.
The 192 kilowatt solar plant will generate 307,000 kilowatt-hour units of electricity every year, the school said. The amount of clean electricity generated by the plant will help abate 135 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
On days when the solar power plant produces more electricity than the school can use, the school can supply the excess electricity back to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s grid, which can then be used as credits against the school’s future electricity bills. This is made possible through DEWA’s progressive rooftop solar net-metering policy, called Shams Dubai.
Susan Varghese, principal of The Indian Academy, said: “We’re thrilled that our vision to go green has now started translating into reality. The solar plant will not only benefit the school commercially, by helping us to economise on our electricity bills, but also, more importantly, serve as an example to our students, their parents and the larger community that gradual progression to environmental sustainability is the socially responsible way to go.”
She added: “The renewable energy industry has grown tremendously in the past decade and will undoubtedly employ a much larger percentage of the global workforce in the future. Therefore, having a solar plant that our students can directly engage with and experience first-hand will provide them with extensive opportunities to learn more about renewable energy and help those interested in pursuing rewarding careers in this rapidly expanding field.”
Sushant Arora, Co-Founder and CEO, CleanMax Solar (MENA), said: “We’re delighted that the Indian Academy Dubai selected us as their sustainability partner. This project makes Indian Academy one of the first schools in Dubai to adopt solar technology, and the first to do so at this scale. We set up the rooftop solar power plant under our innovative ‘Build, Own & Operate’ model. Using this model, we invested in and will operate the solar power plant over a 20-year period while the school pays us every month for the electricity generated from the plant, creating energy cost savings for the school and a return on investments for us.”