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Shalani attends switch-on ceremony of solar panels in public school

June 2, 2010 1:58pm

A Valenzuela City public high school will run on solar power, making it the first in the Philippines to source its energy needs from conventional and renewable power sources.

The one-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic solar array in the Valenzuela City’s Sitero Francisco Memorial National High School was enabled on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by Shalani Soledad, the city’s second district councilor and the girlfriend of Noynoy Aquino, presidential front runner.

The equipment will "be ready to light a nine-classroom building," the Valenzuela City public information office said on its website on Wednesday.

Located in the city’s Ugong village, the school will join the ranks of US-based "Green Schools," the city government added.

"The solar panels can generate 1kW to 5kW per hour, depending on the intensity of the sunlight, which can be used while being generated," said school principal Cesar Villareal, who were among those who led the switching-on ceremony.

Worth P500,000, the solar panels — a donation from Wanxiang America Corp. through the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) — were shipped from Illinois in October 2009 and arrived in Manila November 14.

Valenzuela City paid duties and installation costs worth P250,000.

The solar initiative is expected to help its students to become more aware of their energy needs as well as the technology behind it that makes it work.

An Internet-based solar monitoring station will also be installed for use by science teachers and students to monitor the energy production of other affiliate solar schools abroad in real time.

The accessed data will be used in studies about electricity and renewable energy sources and generation, the use and advantages of alternative energy sources, and on friendly competition between the solar schools on energy conservation and development.

In the future, SFMNHS plans to develop a "Green Building" which also features the harvest of rainwater for energy generation and ventilation, preparation of landscapes to reduce heat, reduction in usage of water, recycling of waste water and use of other energy efficient practices.

The switching-on ceremony was led by Education Department Valenzuela Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Flordeliza Mayari, city Rep. Rex Gatchalian and Villareal.

Also present during the ceremony were NCR HEKASI District Supervisor Dr. Luzviminda Ona and Foundation for Environmental Education representative William Manz.

Earlier this year, the school earned the distinction of being the first to hold computerized student government elections in the country. - RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV
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