Queensland state schools to become ‘virtual solar farm’

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Queensland state schools are set to become a ‘virtual solar farm’, generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of 25,000 homes with the Palaszczuk Government announcing it will install more than 190,000 solar panels on school roof tops.

Education Minister Grace Grace said following yesterday’s announcement that every classroom, library and staff room in every state school in Queensland would be air-conditioned, more solar panels will be installed on school roofs to completely offset the energy usage.

“Through the Cooler Cleaner Schools Program, we are providing a boost to our existing solar program,” Ms Grace said.

“An additional $71.1 million has been allocated to install solar PV systems at Queensland schools.

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“We want to ensure the energy needs associated with installing these new air-conditioning units will be offset by cleaner, greener electricity generation.

“To do this, an additional 80,000 solar panels will be installed on Queensland schools, generating an extra 26MW of power.”

Minister Grace said state schools are some of the biggest energy users in Queensland.

“That is why we have already invested $97 million toward the Advancing Clean Energy Schools Program to install 110,000 solar panels as well as thousands of other energy saving devices like light sensors and timers,” she said.

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“Already, solar panels have been installed at 120 Queensland state schools during phase one of the rollout, with two more phases scheduled in the coming years.

“That means in total, more than 190,000 solar panels will sit atop Queensland state schools.”

Ms Grace said it was important to address energy costs as the Palaszczuk Government continues to build more schools, more classrooms and more learning centres into the future.

“This year alone we built eight new schools and delivered 71 new buildings under our 2020 Ready program.

“We are continuing our record investment in education because we know that means a brighter future for Queensland.”