WA government allocates $45m to rooftop solar systems and virtual power plants in schools


The fund was launched at Churchlands Primary School – an award-winning Waterwise school that leads the way in green practices including a bush tucker native garden, a worm farm, a frog pond, compost heaps, water tanks and paper recycling.

Starting today, eligible schools will be able to apply for the first round of funding. Successful schools will receive a solar energy system that caters for their needs and will be matched with energy providers to ensure grid stability.

These will be announced early in Term 1 next year with completion by June 30, 2022.

If solar is not the most appropriate option, alternatives including smart meters, LED lighting, ‘intelligent’ light management systems and devices that improve school classroom ambient temperatures will be considered.

Further rounds of clean energy technology funding will take place twice a year over the next three financial years.

The Department of Education’s sustainability framework ‘Caring for Country Together’ was also launched this morning.

Caring for Country Together helps schools identify what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce energy costs and improve methods for better energy efficiency.

The Department’s sustainability framework is aligned with the State Government’s commitment to transitioning to net zero emissions and actively addressing climate change.

The framework will be applied across the Department’s curriculum, infrastructure and operations to provide an economic, social and environmental sustainability roadmap that everyone in school communities can relate and contribute to.

Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

“As the State’s largest employer, and a major influencer of young people, the Department of Education has a responsibility to promote sustainable patterns of living.

“These initiatives will not only help schools save on their bills, it will also teach students about how to be more energy efficient and enhance their contribution to keeping the environment cleaner.”

Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston:

“The Schools Clean Energy Technology Fund will help schools better manage their energy use and help them save on their power bills.

“This fund is an important part of the McGowan Government’s Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, which is helping transition towards a greener, cleaner energy future.”

Comments attributed to Climate Action Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is everybody’s responsibility and it is wonderful to see schools like Churchlands Primary School taking meaningful climate action.

“Young people continue to send a strong message that sustainability is important to them and the McGowan Government is taking steps to safeguard their future through important climate initiatives such as the Schools Clean Energy Technology Fund.”