The South Australian government has announced a $15 million scheme to fund rooftop solar and energy efficiency upgrades for schools across the state, in an effort to help them cut power costs and further reduce the state’s carbon emissions.
The scheme will install rooftop solar systems at 40 SA schools, while another 200 schools will be given $250,000 grants to retrofit LED lighting.
“This is the kind of investment which pays for itself in the long run,” said state education minister Susan Close.
“This means schools can focus on support and programs for students rather than electricity bills.”
Close said the program was expected to deliver more than $2 million in savings each year, which will be shared among all of SA’s public schools.
The move has been praised by solar and climate advocacy groups as another example of the state’s leadership on renewable power, at a time when this same leadership is being criticised by the federal government.
“While the federal government continues to play politics with energy it’s states like South Australia who are picking up the slack and driving Australia’s transition to clean power,” said Solar Citizens campaigner, Dan Spencer.
“Schools are hubs for local communities and installing solar arrays on 40 schools will not only reduce pollution, school power bills and create jobs it will give students and local communities a taste of a future powered by clean energy.
“These 40 schools will join the one in four South Australian homes leading the solar revolution”.
The rollout also is expected to create 38 full time equivalent jobs.
“Solar means jobs for South Australians and this solar rollout will continue South Australia’s nation leading take-up of clean power,” Spencer said.