The uptake of renewable energy shows no signs of slowing down, with system sizes getting larger every month. Gippsland Solar have just announced they are completing the largest installation on a school in Australia, a whopping 862kW (2,650 panel) system across the Camberwell Grammar School precinct in Canterbury.
The first 550kW of panels have been installed, with the remaining 312kW to be completed in the April school holidays. The impact of this system will be significant. It will generate around 1GWh (1,000,000 kWh’s) of renewable energy per year, reducing Camberwell’s environmental footprint by 1,200 Tonnes per year. And when the school is closed (particularly in summer), this system will export many hundreds of kW of solar electricity into the nearby grid, providing a critical service to reduce demand from traditional energy sources.
The project was driven entirely by the school student council, who presented the idea to the board at Camberwell, demonstrating great student leadership from within. While this investment will pay for itself well within its lifespan, it is also a statement that students want to see their school’s becoming more environmentally conscious.
As part of this project, Gippsland Solar are also installing two ‘off grid classrooms’. Two of the science classrooms will be powered entirely by solar and a Tesla Powerwall, with a TV screen showing their usage in the classroom. The two classrooms will compete on energy efficiency for 6 months, creating an extra level of educational value to the project.
We are eagerly awaiting some new announcements regarding solar on public schools as well, with a positive announcement expected in the lead up to this year’s Victorian state election.
*Andy is a principal of Gippsland Solar