20 Jerusalem schools to receive solar panels

Municipality to install panels as part of government initiative to better the environment.

solar 88 (photo credit: )
solar 88
(photo credit: )
As part of a government initiative to better the environment by using alternative energy, the Jerusalem Municipality will install solar panels on 20 city schools in the coming years. The project will cost NIS 100 million, but the municipality will not be paying for the panels. Instead, the government will compel energy companies to pay for the rentals. Because of this, the city will in effect be making money from the project. Yair Maayan, the municipality's director-general, said the city decided to use solar panels because they were the best fit for the buildings, because schools had the most roof area. "This is what is appropriate for the city," Maayan said. "Solar panels go on the roof without any additions. They don't require any care and they all go to one network. It's the simplest, the fastest and the most comfortable way." Despite the high cost, the panels will only generate five megawatts of energy. Even so, Maayan said the city was investing in the future of alternative energy and green fuels. "It's not a lot, it's a little, [but] you have to start somewhere," he said. "The government made this [kind of energy production] possible across the whole country and we're starting it." Maayan expects solar panels to proliferate across the whole city soon. "This is the beginning," he said. "It will continue in all of Israel and we will have significant solar panels on all the roofs." The solar initiative is part of a larger environmental project on the part of the municipality. In addition to encouraging alternative energy, the city is buying electric cars and motorscooters, and is collaborating with the Ma'aleh Adumim Municipality to increase recycling. The mayor [Uri Lupoliansky] believes in green projects in the city to decrease air pollution in the city," Maayan said. "We don't want to hurt the youth, to hurt the air." The city has passed regulations to assist residents and companies in reducing air pollution, increasing recycling and decreasing noise pollution. The city will also initiate a program to clean up its litter in the coming months, and will use more green energy to collect garbage in Abu Dis, just outside the capital.