Solar Trinity: Rooftop PV to power S.A. school and student learning

A South Australian school will become one of Australia’s first to integrate the installation of on-campus rooftop solar with the school’s curriculum, through a partnership with the innovative Solar Schools educational platform, following the installation of a massive 1.27MW solar system.

South Australia’s Trinity College as partnered with Zen Energy on the installation of the massive rooftop solar systems on buildings across the school’s three campus locations, reducing the college’s carbon footprint by more than 1,323 tonnes each year.

The school is the first to participate in the new Solar Schools program, being deployed in partnership with the Adelaide based Zen Energy. The program has been designed to be aligned with the Australian school curriculum, and to incorporate renewable energy systems into STEM teaching.

“We are delighted to be leading the way in educating for the future. We continue to build a sustainable future for our school, and this platform enables us to embed this philosophy deeper into the very fabric of Trinity College,” Head of Trinity College Nick Hately said.

Director of Zen Energy, Ross Garnaut, said that it was exciting for the company to be involved in the installation of rooftop solar systems at schools that can be integrated as part of the educational experience for students.

“The exclusive partnership with Solar Schools means that ZEN Energy can continue to deliver quality solar and battery installations to our school communities while enabling South Australian students to truly engage in their school’s sustainability journey, learning with real-time data,” Garnaut  said. “It’s like one big, exciting science experiment!”

“ZEN Energy is focused on building and changing communities, enabling them to actively participate in the journey to a cleaner, greener future.”

Real-time data will be collected from the solar installations and provided to the Solar Schools program, collected by a Wattwatchers device installed with the system, providing an opportunity for the school’s students to gain an understanding of how solar power works, and its role in reducing the school’s impact on the environment.

The Solar Schools program has developed a series of learning modules and lessons that allow schools students to directly engage with solar power systems installed on their own schools, providing access to interactive and real-world data, and incorporating lessons involving renewable energy and climate change.

Co-founder of the Brisbane-based Solar Schools program, Rob Breuer, said the partnership with Zen Energy would help provide more opportunities for students to learn about how solar power works.

“Partnering with ZEN Energy was just the right choice for us,” Rob Breuer said. “We have a shared goal of building engaged communities, and we are both Australian businesses focused on enabling the next generation driving Australia’s energy and sustainability future.”

The system will use the Wattwatchers device to collect performance data from the solar installations, and will feed that data into the My Energy Marketplace (MEM) program. Wattwatchers has received funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to build the monitoring software, that will allow solar performance data to be collated in a central platform.

“Trinity College is a terrific anchor campus for the launch of this great new partnership between ZEN Energy and Solar Schools. The national school’s target for the MEM is 250 sites, and we are excited that Trinity has led the way in South Australia,” Wattwatchers CEO Gavin Dietz said.

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