One by one schools across New Zealand are catching the solar power fever. Many schools in our country have gone solar and are benefiting from free and sustainable energy that's also a powerful education tool for our students. The solar power systems installed in schools aim to educate students about sustainable energy and the importance of environmental responsibility. In fact, children are able to see how the solar power system is functioning thanks to system displays inside schools. Lucky ducks.
At the center of the scholarly solar power movement is the Solar Schools programme, a crowd funding organization set up by the Nelson Environment Center and Solar City Corporation. Henley School in Nelson was the first school to go on the Solar Schools programme. After updating, the school now has a 15kW grid-tie solar power system on their roof and the curriculum used in all Solar Schools on sustainable energy and climate change, including science classes, technology, economics and the arts.
Henley School claims solar power as a main contributor to their 'net zero energy school' label, but the school also utilizes heat pumps, thick insulation, and airtight buildings to ensure energy efficiency. This school is all business when energy is on the line.
After the success of Henley School, The Ministry of Education engineered a type of school designed to be 'net zero energy' from the start. The first, Pegasus Primary School in Christchurch, opened its doors on June 12th of this year. With the help of solar power it should generate as much power as it uses, saving the schools thousands. The large grid-tie solar PV array almost reaches 90kWs in size. Along with solar PV, a solar hot water system for all of their hot water requirements was installed.
Pegasus Bay School © Alphatron
The latest school to go solar is Peria School in Taipa, Far North. Facing a rising energy bill, the school set up a committee of both adults and students to research the best options of renewable energy. Unanimously the committee agreed the most efficient and cost effective solution would be installing a solar PV system. Since the price of grid power is exorbitantly high in the Far North, I'm glad to see schools relying on solar power. Peria School's 10kW solar power system is forecasted to save the school 60% to 70% on power bills.
A solar power system on a school is what I'd consider a commercial sized system. My Solar Quotes has plenty of information about commercial sized systems on the website, if you want to get a quote for school solar power system you can make your request here>
More New Zealand schools are reaping the benefits of solar power, and the money saved is going toward the children, our country's future, instead to grid power companies. That's a success in my book! I am personally excited to see the effect solar power is having on our country, especially within our schools. So the next time you pass a school, look up toward the roof and see if the solar power fever has caught.