Gold Coast state schools have welcomed the installation of over 17,000 solar panels, in a bid to slash electricity costs and cut carbon emissions.
$168 million of State Government funding has been spent on the Advancing Clean Energy Schools program – with over 900 schools across Queensland benefitting.
Nerang State High School has had 484 solar panels installed, from a $310,000 investment.
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Education Minister Grace Grace says the program has delivered more than expected, and will save a fortune.
“I am particularly proud that we exceeded our original target of 180,000 panels at 872 schools and have instead delivered 200,000 panels at 912 schools,” Ms Grace says.
“This equates to a $26 million saving on energy bills every single year and is enough renewable energy to power 25,000 homes.”
On average, the solar panels at Nerang State High can generate around 630 kW of electricity per day.
Minister for Environment and Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the program was great news, not just for local schools, but for climate change too.
“ACES is making a significant contribution to the 50% renewable energy target by 2030, with the 200,000 solar panels on state school rooftops expected to generate an average of 280MW of electricity per day,” Ms Scanlon says.
“The 17,000 panels in the Gold Coast alone can generate around 23,000kW of electricity per day.”
The solar panel program follows the implementation of air conditioning in every Queensland state school class, with Minister Scanlon saying the panels are now helping to offset the added electricity costs of air conditioning.