A total of 30 regional Western Australia public schools are set to be fitted out with solar, as part of the state government’s $200 million “school maintenance blitz” that is expected to deliver nearly $2 million worth of energy savings a year.
The $5 million solar rollout, launched late last week at the Port Hedland Primary School, will be led by state-owned gen-tailer Horizon Power, through a program that will create 12 new jobs and two apprenticeship roles.
For the selected schools – the list of which can be found below – the rooftop solar installations are expected to slash each school’s electricity bill by roughly one-quarter.
“Through the Solar Schools program, the McGowan government is delivering on its commitment to a cleaner, greener renewable energy future for Western Australia,” said state energy minister Bill Johnston in a statement.
“Energy is a significant expense for our schools and this program will allow them to each save 27 per cent on electricity costs – collectively, that’s $1.7 million worth of savings each year.”
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said the program would deliver on the government’s commitment to improving the standards of schools around the state, while also contributing a new line of education.
“The Solar Schools program is creating new, practical ways for students and teachers to acquire new skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) areas such as solar technology,” Ellery said.
The Horizon Power program follows the August launch of a separate initiative that will form a solar and battery-based virtual power plant made up of 10 schools across the state’s South West Interconnected System.
Both initiatives align with the Labor McGowan government’s Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, which will guide the massive state’s transition to renewables.
The full list of participating schools include:
Baler Primary School
Baynton West Primary School
Cascade Primary School
Cassia Primary School
Castletown Primary School
Condingup Primary School
Derby District High School
Esperance Primary School
Esperance Senior High School
Halls Creek District High School
Hedland Senior High School
Karratha Primary School
Karratha Senior High School
Leonora District High School
Looma Remote Community School
Meekatharra District High School
Millars Well Primary School
Munglinup Primary School
Norseman District High School
Nulsen Primary School
One Arm Point Remote Community School
Pegs Creek Primary School
Port Hedland Primary School
Salmon Gums Primary School
Scaddan Primary School
South Hedland Primary School
Tambrey Primary School
Wiluna Remote Community School
Wyndham District High School