NSW’s largest school based renewables trial underway

High school student typing on laptop (school trial)
Image: Shutterstock

Sixty NSW public schools will be taking part in the largest school based trial of solar, battery energy and Virtual Power Plant (VPP) technology in Australia, generating, storing and sharing their own renewable energy with the community.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell and Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres were at Kingswood Public School to inspect their new solar and battery system installed under Stage 1 of the Smart Energy Schools Pilot Project.

Related article: Transgrid completes Snowy Mountain bushfire repairs

Mitchell also announced that an additional 29 schools were joining the pilot.

“We now have 60 schools testing the most effective ways to harness and deploy renewable energy back to the electricity grid,” she said.

“We have over eight million square metres of NSW public schools roof spaces and we are looking at how we can utilise this space to reduce electricity costs and improve the environment.”

Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the trial would help the NSW Government meet its commitment of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“We know that solar is one of the best ways to slash the state’s energy bill and emissions,” Kean said.

“Adding cloud-based virtual power plant software means that energy generated on site can be used, stored or shared with other schools or homes via the electricity grid.”

New air conditioning  units with smart controls will be installed at the school with the smart energy systems configured to reduce electricity use, particularly during peak periods.

Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres said he was thrilled to be at the school to speak with the teachers and students about the new renewable technology.

“We now have more than 130 solar panels and a large battery energy system with 78KWh of storage capacity here at Kingswood Public School,” Ayres said.

“Lowering energy costs means we invest more funds in better educational outcomes .

Related article: Mornington BESS gets grid connection approval

“I look forward to seeing the trial progress, delivering educational outcomes, along with energy savings.”

The solar, batteries and VPP systems are now being installed with work across all pilot schools expected to be complete by the middle of 2022. For more information and a full list of participating schools go to the Smart Energy School Pilot website.

Previous articleMost aggressive ransomware groups named in new report
Next articleTesting facility teams with Alice Springs Future Grid