Public schools on the Gold Coast have welcomed the installation of more than 17,000 solar panels, with the aim of reducing electricity costs and carbon emissions.
$168 million in state government funding has been spent on the Advancing Clean Energy Schools program, which has benefited over 900 schools in Queensland.
Nerang State High School had 484 solar panels installed, starting with an investment of $310,000.
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Education Minister Grace Grace says the scheme has delivered more than expected and will save a fortune.
“I’m particularly proud that we exceeded our original target of 180,000 signs to 872 schools and delivered 200,000 signs to 912 schools,” says Grace.
“That equates to saving $26 million on energy bills each year and is enough renewable energy to power 25,000 homes.”
On average, Nerang State High’s solar panels can generate around 630 kW of electricity per day.
Environment Minister and MP for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the scheme was great news, not just for local schools but also for climate change.
“ACES is making a significant contribution to the goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030, with the 200,000 solar panels installed on the roofs of public schools expected to generate an average of 280 MW of electricity per day,” says Miss Scanlon.
“The Gold Coast’s 17,000 panels alone can generate around 23,000 kW of electricity per day.”
The solar panel scheme follows the implementation of air conditioning in all Queensland state school classrooms, with Minister Scanlon saying the panels are now helping to offset the extra electricity costs of air conditioning.