CEM Educational Centre as a source of energy and inspiration

Published on Monday, 28 November 2016

Two years ago a successful experiment in rainwater reutilisation at Centro Educacional Margarida (CEM) in Araruama, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, made school principal Rafael Chagas change his point of view on sustainability. After realising its daily application was much easier than he imagined, Rafael and his team decided to invest in solar energy.

Using an inexhaustible and non-polluting energy source aligned to the education of the students is a smart solution. “We are hosting lectures to explain how it works and there are two students doing research to install it at home. The pupils have an even greater respect for sustainability”, says principal Rafael Chagas.

Like Enel, CEM Educational Centre has decided to become the key player in the change our society needs: it was one of the first institutions in the region to adopt the sustainable initiative that enables mindful consumption.

This model allows the storing of unused energy at the distributor network, generating account credit. The estimated saving on the energy bill for the school has reached R$52.000 a year.

This type of energy is more than an economical solution; the return-on-investment period is becoming shorter as the cost for the system and energy-generation taxes get lower.

A gift for the world and society

The 176 photovoltaic panels installed by Enel in a 300sq m area uses 100% solar energy. Today the institution hosts the largest solar micro-generation plant in the Rio’s lake region (Região dos Lagos). The Educational Centre initiative will generate an average of 60,000 kWh/year – which would be enough to supply 300 residences – avoiding nine tonnes of carbon emissions.

“We don’t need to rely on hydroelectric plants or other sources; we can use what the world has given us, the Sun”

– Israel Oliveira, student

Students are also more mindful of new energy-generation methods that do not harm the environment and feel responsible for creating a better future since the system was installed. “It’s not only about me. More people will take advantage of it. My children, my younger brother,” celebrates student Renata Ferreira.

By using the solar energy system CEM has become a sustainable institution from the environmental and economic points of view for energy production, as well as a symbol that positive action can be taken now.