WA Going Gangbusters On Solar Schools

Schools Clean Energy Technology Fund

Another 96 schools in Western Australia are getting solar panels through the McGowan Government’s $44.6 million Schools Clean Energy Technology Fund.

The McGowan Government originally announced the initiative back in September last year as part of its 2021-22 State Budget; fulfilling an election promise. The Clean Energy Technology Fund was formally launched in November 2021 and 84 schools scored solar power system funding under round one.

Schools were invited to apply for the second round in May this year. On Friday, WA Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery unveiled the list of schools that successfully applied for the latest round.

As well as schools without solar panels, those with systems already installed were invited to apply if they had insufficient coverage. Thousands of schools across Australia acquired systems under the Federal government-funded National Solar Schools program (NSSP), which ended nearly a decade ago. Many of these systems were quite small by today’s standards.

Of the winners in round two, 60 schools are in Perth’s metropolitan area and 36 in the regions.

“I look forward to continuing the rollout of clean energy technologies in our public schools, which is an important piece of the State’s broader transition towards a low carbon future,” said Minister Ellery

A list of the schools can be found here.

In addition to cutting carbon emissions and reducing electricity costs, the systems supported by the Schools Clean Energy Technology Fund will provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning opportunities for students and teachers. The fund also supports the state’s existing Solar Schools Program and Virtual Power Plant (VPP) program.

Other Recent Cleantech Announcements In WA

Western Australia has been a bit of a hotspot for cleantech related news over the last week or so. Among the happenings, we reported the first energy storage units had been installed at Synergy’s big battery site in the Perth suburb of Kwinana. The 100MW/200MWh Kwinana Battery Storage System (KBESS) should be operational by the end of this year.

Also in the news was Horizon Power’s announcement that its Distributed Energy Resources Management System (DERMS) will start rolling out in regional areas next year. This will enable local microgrids to host more solar power systems – welcome news in many towns where residents and businesses have been prevented from installing solar panels due to lack of hosting capacity.

Over to electric cars, and the Western Australian government announced last week it had awarded Jet Charge a contract to install 98 EV chargers at 49 locations across WA1.  The full network will be operational by 2024. Jet Charge also manufactures home charging solutions – specs and approximate pricing for a couple of models can be found on SQ’s EV charger comparison page.

Also on a WA-related note; SolarQuotes founder Finn released a video last week on emergency solar management in WA, explaining what solar owners need to know about the initiative.

Footnotes

  1. If you’re looking for places to plug in your electric car in Western Australia, check out SQ’s public EV charger location map
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.

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