Solar Panels For Schools In Regional Western Australia

Solar Schools - Western Australia

Image source: Horizon Power

30 regional public schools throughout Western Australia are to have solar panels installed under a $5 million McGowan Government program.

To be delivered by WA’s Department of Education and Horizon Power, the rollout is part of the state’s $200 million School Maintenance Blitz announced last year.

According to the McGowan Government, the solar program will reduce beneficiary schools’ greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2,000 tonnes each year and knock a significant chunk off each school’s electricity bills.

“Energy is a significant expense for our schools and this program will allow them to each save 27 per cent on electricity costs – collectively, that’s $1.7 million worth of savings each year,” stated Energy Minister Bill Johnston.

The program will also result in educational benefits.

“The Solar Schools program is creating new, practical ways for students and teachers to acquire new skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) areas such as solar technology,” said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery.

Additionally, 12 new full-time jobs will be created across regional WA during the 18-month construction period, and two new Aboriginal electrical apprenticeships established.

A list of the schools to score a solar power system can be viewed here.

Renewables A Key Part In WA Recovery Program

The program is part of Horizon Power’s work under the WA Recovery Program that will see Horizon deliver around $60 million of energy projects across its service area. State Government-owned, Horizon Power supplies electricity to around 100,000 residents and 10,000 businesses in regional and remote Western Australia across an area of approximately 2.3 million square kilometres.

In July this year, the McGowan Government announced a $66.3 million renewable energy focused package to help boost the state’s economy.

In other recent news relating to schools and solar energy in Western Australia, early this month Ministers Ellery and Johnston revealed all the state schools to be transformed into Virtual Power Plants (VPP). This followed an announcement in early August concerning the first VPP school to be part of the pilot project – Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School.

The schools will have battery systems installed and also solar panels in cases where none are already in place.

Beyond helping participating schools reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions, the project will enable some local PV owners to “bank” and “withdraw” surplus electricity generated by their solar panels, and generally improve power quality in these communities.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Speak Your Mind

*

GET THE SOLARQUOTES WEEKLY NEWSLETTER