NT schools to go solar, as government-funded installs get underway

The Northern Territory Labor government has started the ball rolling on its $5 million Rooftop Solar Schools program, an election policy promise to install PV systems on around 25 schools across every Territory region over the next three years.
In a statement on Tuesday, the government said 1.5 million in funding had been allocated to begin planning for phase one of the program, with eight solar installations expected to be completed by mid-2019.
Eight schools have been selected for solar installation in the first round (2018/19), six in the second round (2019/20) and five in the third year (2020/21). On top of that, in each of the three years, two positions have been left open for other schools to apply.
Territory minister for education, Selena Uibo, said the solar rollout was expected to save Territory schools up to 40 per cent on their energy costs.
“It will also act as a hands-on tool for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education,” she said.
“The solar systems will include monitoring and measurement equipment and will facilitate innovative school-based projects, inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists to advance renewable energy solutions.”
The program is part of the government’s Roadmap to Renewables Plan, to transition the Territory to renewable energy, including a target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030.
Minister for renewables and essential services, Dale Wakefield, said the government expected this target to also deliver local jobs, and cheaper, cleaner power.
“We are transitioning our power system to have more solar and less gas,” he said.
“Along with the $5 millon Rooftop Solar in Schools program, we have also invested in the $15 million home improvement scheme, the $4.5 million smart energy grants scheme as well as the one-for-one solar feed-in tariff provided by Jacana Energy, Australia’s most generous.”
The government also recently announced a $40 million private sector investment in the 25MW Katherine Solar Farm – which stands to be the Territory’s largest renewable energy generator, with works starting in 2019.
Schools chosen for the three-year Rooftop Solar Program are:
Round 1 – 2018/19
1. Casuarina Senior College
2. Palmerston Senior College
3. Katherine High School
4. Sanderson Middle School
5. Nhulunbuy High School
6. Centralian Middle School
7. Nightcliff Primary School
8. Tennant Creek High School
9. TBC – subject to expression of interest process
10. TBC – subject to expression of interest process
Round 2 – 2019/20
1. Maningrida College
2. Dripstone Middle School
3. Braitling Primary School
4. Shepherdson College
5. Ngukurr School
6. Centralian Senior College
7. TBC – subject to expression of interest process
8. TBC – subject to expression of interest process
Round 3 – 2020/21
1. Angurugu School
2. Gunbalanya School
3. Nhulunbuy Primary School
4. Nightcliff Middle School
5. Yuendumu School
6. TBC – subject to expression of interest process
7. TBC – subject to expression of interest process

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