A team installs solar panels on the roof of one of the school’s buildings. Photo: Supplied
Cape Town – The new solar power unit donated to Salt River Secondary School and installed on Friday will save the school about R8 200 on its annual electricity bill.

The 3.96kW solar system will also help the school cut back five tons on its yearly carbon emissions.

This is all thanks to environmental justice warriors from Khayelitsha who were behind the project.

The project and donation are a culmination of efforts between SOLA Future Energy and the climate change NPO Project 90.

The organisations are committed to promoting affordable, clean and accessible energy in Africa by 2030.

The Khayelitsha “eco warriors” are a group of pupils who were given practical training on the mechanics and benefits of solar power at workshops held earlier in the year.

They formed part of the “Playing with Solar” programme hosted by the two organisations and is part of the NPO’s YouLead leadership initiative.

Environmental education has been identified as a key part of the YouLead project, as well as exposing the “warriors” (as Project 90 by 2030 likes to call them) to renewable energy technologies and leadership skills.

SOLA Future Energy chief executive Dom Wills said: “Through this project, we have been able to teach learners that providing a reliable, cheap and clean form of energy is something that can benefit communities and create jobs.”

The school’s acting principal, Fairuz Patel, thanked those who worked on the project, saying the money they are saving “can make a massive difference in the kind of education we can offer our learners, while also making a real and tangible difference to the environment”.