Holy Child School in Cape Coast has halved its electricity bill with the construction of an off-grid solar-powered electrification system for the school.
The 1994/1996-Year groups, with support from other year groups, undertook the GH¢550,000 project, which had solar panels placed on the roofs of classrooms and the administration block.
The facility, which has the capacity to produce 23 kilowatts of power, was inaugurated as part of the school’s 73rd Speech and Prize-giving Day in Cape Coast last Saturday.
It was on the theme: "Enhancing a holistic approach to the education of the girl child.”
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The Headmistress of the school, Rev. Sister Josephine Anto, said the school’s electricity bill of GH¢9,510 for February 2018 reduced to GH¢4,790 in February 2019, mainly due to the use of the solar system.
She said the reduction had saved the school a lot of pressure in utility bills and called for support for the expansion of the solar energy to the chapel and the dormitories.
A Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, who was the guest of honour, said the government was committed to ensuring that renewable energy contributed 10 per cent of the nation’s total energy supply mix.
That would be equivalent to about 200 megawatts by 2030.
He said a good mix in the sources of energy generation was needed to ensure security and sustainability in the country’s energy supply system to achieve universal access.
Dr Adam said there were still many island and lake communities which needed to be connected to the national grid, noting that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on energy could not be achieved without renewable energy.
He said the ministry was targeting rooftop solar systems for public buildings, including schools, hospitals and security facilities, to reduce the financial burden on the government, adding that plans were advanced to instal solar panels for the supply of energy at the University of Ghana.
He said because the government had to pay the utility bills for public institutions, it owed the electricity company so much.
Dr Adam commended Holy Child School for being the first to venture into the use of solar significantly and said the ministry would support the school.
The deputy minister also pledged 200 light emitting diode (LED) bulbs to the school.
Solar energy solutions
Dr Adam also inaugurated a Solar Club for the school and urged the students to develop interest in green energy and seek to specialise in solar energy solutions.
On education, he stated that the government had worked towards fulfilling its obligation to the Ghanaian youth with the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy, saying it believed that poverty should not be a barrier to education.
The Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission, Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, an old student of the school, who was the guest speaker, called on school authorities to teach human values and social skills, while encouraging creativity.
She noted that the type of holistic education that allowed students to think would help reduce the over-dependence syndrome and build up the confidence of students to excel on their own.
The guest speaker, together with four other relatives who are all old students of the school, donated GH¢40,000 in support of ongoing infrastructural projects in the school.
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast and Patron of the school, the Most Rev. Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, urged the students to strive for higher heights.
Deserving staff and students who excelled in their various fields of endeavour were awarded prizes.