Victorian college switches to 100% solar-wind electricity blend

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Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) has become one of the pioneering schools in Australia to commit to 100% renewable electricity. This goal will be achieved on the back of a power purchase agreement inked with commercial electricity retailer Flow Power, which will allow the College to source its power from grid-scale off-site wind and solar farms. On top of that, PLC is installing a large-scale, on-campus solar PV system to achieve its ambitious goal.

“PLC has a long history of leadership and innovation and this project will help inspire and encourage our girls to continue to seek more sustainable solutions for future generations,” PLC Principal, Dawn Clements said. “We are very excited about the project and we look forward to doing our part in achieving a low emissions future.”

Similar to other educational facilities powered by renewables, the private school in eastern Melbourne will export surplus clean electricity generated on-site to the grid and use direct access to live energy readings and data as a teaching aid across many subject areas.

PLC School Captain Imashi Iddawela said students are thrilled about the College turning to renewables and are looking forward to learning more about the College’s use of renewable energy. “The real-time data will help us to better understand where our energy is coming from and how much we’re using. It will also help us adopt more energy efficient practises,” Imashi said.

Against the backdrop of a rising number of solar school initiatives, and with universities turning to solar to bring down energy costs, Australian educational institutions are among big energy consumers looking to quit the grid in a post-subsidy world. Flow Power revealed last month that its high-use energy customers had collectively saved $15.4 million sourcing electricity from 254 MW of committed  projects in its 440 MW renewable portfolio. The retailer has solar and wind in Queensland, New South Wales South Australia and Victoria, and already a lengthy list of corporate consumers, including Ascham School, ANCA CNC Machines, Sydney Opera House, Pernord Richard Winemakers, Olam Orchards and more.

Flow Power Managing Director, Matthew van der Linden applauded PLC on its commitment to renewable energy and welcomed the opportunity for collaboration with the College Community throughout the project. “PLC is showing real leadership in the renewable energy space. Schools are in a great position to take advantage of renewable power from both economic and teaching perspectives, and our partnership with PLC will showcase all that is possible,” van der Linden said.