Victorian college to source 130% of its energy needs from renewables

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One of the pioneering schools in Australia to commit to 100% renewable electricity, Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) has raised the bar for renewables and will now source 130% of its electricity needs from renewable energy. This will be achieved thanks to 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, and a 600kW on-campus rooftop PV system.

The on-site solar system was delivered by Victorian PV retailer Gippsland Solar last week as one of its “largest, and most challenging” projects to date. “The closer you look at this installation, the more intricate and detailed it becomes. This was a monumental challenge for our engineering and delivery teams, but we are thrilled to say that they have raised the bar even higher on this project,” Gippsland Solar said on Facebook. “Thanks to the team at PLC for entrusting Gippsland Solar with this amazing project. We have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership, and look forward to delivering many years of solar-powered savings for you.

Thanks to the 600kW PV system and a renewable energy offtake agreement with Flow Power, PLC will now source more solar and wind electricity than it needs. 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.

Founded in 1875, PLC has produced a long and impressive list of alumnae, including Dame Nellie Melba who features on the $100 note. The College committed to 100% renewable electricity last year adding to the growing number of solar school initiatives and universities turning to solar to bring down energy costs. “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 at the time.

Australian educational institutions are among big energy consumers looking to quit the grid with Flow Power’s help. The retailer’s renewable energy portfolio includes solar and wind projects in Queensland, New South Wales South Australia, and Victoria. It already has a lengthy list of corporate consumers, including Ascham School, ANCA CNC Machines, Sydney Opera HousePernod Richard Winemakers, Olam Orchards, and more.

Applauding PLC on its commitment to renewable energy, Flow Power Managing Director Matthew van der Linden said last year that 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.