NSW welcomes a fresh cohort of solar schools


A fresh raft of public schools around New South Wales (NSW) are set to receive solar and battery energy storage systems (BESS) as part of the NSW government’s Smart Energy Schools Pilot Project.

The Smart Energy Schools Pilot Project kicked off in 2020 as a testing ground to find the most effective way to deploy renewable energy across NSW public schools. The first two stages of the project tested the use of solar and battery storage systems along with Virtual Power Plant (VPP) technology across NSW public schools.

In Stage 2 of the program, 18 schools will receive solar-plus-storage and join the government’s VPP trial – set to begin by mid-2023. Some of the newest solar recipients include Ballina High School, Hurstville Public School and Georges River College Oatley Senior Campus.

A total of 79 schools are now up and running in the program.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the solar installations from the first stage of the program have already generated more than 460 MWh of energy, enough to keep the lights on at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the Melbourne Cricket Ground for a full year.

“These solar systems have also helped reduce the schools’ electricity costs by almost $100,000 (USD 67,200) and cut carbon emissions from electricity supply by more than 50%,” said Mitchell.

Until March 7. 2023, the NSW government will be open to Expressions of Interest (EOI) for proposals to finance, deliver and operate renewable energy systems across 2,200 public schools; in addition to the 1,500 NSW public schools which already host existing solar.

“We want to maximise the role our schools play in delivering a renewable energy solution,” continued Mitchell. ”


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