The CNMI Public School System’s project to have all CNMI public schools powered by solar energy will set a precedent for other school systems in the Micronesia region, according to Board of Education chair Andrew L. Orsini.
Orsini also said in an interview with him last Thursday that PSS generating and consuming its own electricity will help mitigate learning loss during periods of recovery following natural disasters.
“This is [an achievement] for our school system, and this is now a precedent that we’re setting. Because of our geographical location, typhoons do come, so we need to be prepared. This [project] would really help us a lot, especially during the time of recovery after a [natural] disaster. My [main] concern is more of the learning loss. We want to reduce that and keep [our students] up to speed with their education and that’s all it is,” said Orsini.
He also cited Public Law 18-75, a 2015 law that set PSS on its way to making the solar panel project a reality, and the ultimate goal of reducing the utility costs PSS owes the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., thus ensuring in part that PSS maintains financial stability.
“PSS is a non-generating entity. …We have to be concerned about our financial standing to make sure that we keep developing toward what we have to do, and that’s to educate our children,” said Orsini.
Last Thursday at Marianas High School, PSS held a launch ceremony to officially mark the beginning of a project to install solar panels in all CNMI public schools by next year.