Bellville High turns to solar

An artist's impression of the solar panels on the roof of Bellville High.
Every year, schools start the new year with promises of a bright future, but for Bellville High, the future will literally be bright as the school will be mainly powered by solar panels from January. 

A total of 196 solar panels will be installed on the school’s roof early next year.

The installation of the panels will be done by Sun Exchange, an American public-benefit company registered company that runs out of Woodstock.

It has installed panels at five other schools all over Cape Town. 

Sun Exchange claims the solar panels at Bellville High will cut the school’s electricity bill by 31% in the first year, which will lead to a 34% drop in its tariff costs. 

Stefan Kruger, vice-principal of Bellville High, said he had heard about the company and what they were doing during a in a radio interview about a recent installation at Protea Heights Academy in Brackenfell. 

“It was in August when I heard the story, and once I heard the details I pulled my car over and I made contact as I believed that this is really something that can help our school in not only saving costs but also to save energy. Currently, our costs at the school run over R1 million a year, so we are really focused on reducing those costs.” 

Mr Kruger added that said the school had also initiated several energy-saving projects such as changing the fluorescent bulbs to LEDs. It also had borehole systems to save water.