Four schools in the Tamworth Electorate are taking part in a new program being piloted across NSW. The innovative project aims to explore the potential for schools to use renewable energy to generate electricity for themselves.
Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson said he was thrilled to know that so many schools would be participating in the pilot.
“Only 25 schools are participating in this exciting initiative across NSW so to have 4 local schools participating in different towns around the electorate is a big win for our region,” Mr Anderson said.
The use of solar PV panels and batteries aim to create enough supply electricity to the state’s energy grid. By producing solar energy, schools will benefit from lower energy bills, and batteries will store any excess solar energy for later use, or it can be sold to the energy grid.
New England has been pinned as a Renewable Energy Zone (REZ). The New England REZ will have an intended network capacity of 8,000 megawatts under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (the Act) and is fundamental to the successful delivery of the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.
“Renewable energy will provide thousands of jobs in the New England Renewable Energy Zone so exposing our kids to the kind of infrastructure that will soon be more common place around the region, particularly solar power, will be very beneficial to their education. I look forward to hearing from principles and students about the success of the pilot,” said Mr Anderson.
Duri Public School, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, Nemingah Public School, and Werris Creek Public School will all be participating in the pilot.
The pilot project aims to assess the benefits and costs of the large-scale implementation of solar PV systems and batteries, together with other initiatives that can reduce demand on the energy network.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the potential of the Schools Renewable Energy Infrastructure Pilot Project is limitless.
“In NSW, we have 2,200 public schools, and combined they have a roof space of 8 million square meters. That is almost 2,000 football fields worth of space ready for power production,” Ms Mitchell said.
It is estimated the 25 schools involved will save a whopping $300,000 in power bills – money which can go back into education.