Source: News Bharati English03 Jul 2016 11:03:29

Shillong, July 3: Setting its benchmark, in the first of its kind for the state of Meghalaya, Loyola College in Williamnagar in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills has set a benchmark for itself by becoming a fully solar-powered institution in the state. Social welfare minister Deborah Marak dedicated the project to the college yesterday, which was operational since February.
The minister had personally contributed for the setting up of the project. Speaking to the media, Marak said, “I was highly impressed with the idea presented to me by the institution and decided to contribute funds for the execution of the project. It is first of its kind in the state of Meghalaya and I will promote such ventures in other institutions as well.”

In February last, a 15-MV solar power project was installed at the academic block of Loyola College, Williamnagar. The institution conceptualized the need for the project, as the power supply at the institute was irregular and fluctuations in power supply and lightening had caused extensive damage to the electronic goods, news agency The North East Today reported.

“There was shortage in power supply and to generate alternative power, we wanted to partner with the government in tapping clean and renewable sources of energy and submitted a proposal to legislator Deborah Marak”, said Sunny Augustine SJ, the principal of Loyala College. Fr. Augustine said that the institute generates twice the electricity it consumes through solar power plants installed on the roofs of the three-stored academic block.

Since February 2016, the institute has been self-reliant in energy and produced 10 KW. By installing the solar energy project, the institution is saving on the cost of electricity. The institution terms the investment for the future, as generation of students will learn about the use of green and renewable energy, which is available in plenty in Garo hills. The college established in 2010 by the Jesuit Fathers and Brothers has filled the gap in providing higher education in East Garo Hills.

“We will install additional 30 computer systems next year and will be able to use the optimum energy produced by the solar power system”, Augustine said. He added that the surplus power generated could be given out to the grid but the facilities for power sharing is not available in the district, though they have the option and the technology for it. Currently, the entire institution is using the energy.