The first solar power installation at any school on the NSW South Coast was switched on in February, 2009, at Nowra Christian School.

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The first solar power installation at any school on the NSW South Coast was switched on in February, 2009, at Nowra Christian School. The 5.1 kilowatt solar electric system was installed by Solgen Energy and will provide reduced energy costs for the school, educational outcomes for students and an increased awareness of ‘green energy’ in the school community. A typical 5.1kWp system will generate up to 8MW of electricity per annum, preventing about 7.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas each year from entering the atmosphere.

Nowra Christian School was the first in the area to take advantage of The National Solar Schools Program, an Australian Government initiative to give Australian schools a head start in tackling climate change and conserving our precious water supplies. National Solar Schools offers grants of up to $50,000 (GST exclusive) to install solar power systems and a range of energy efficiency measures.

Testimonial

“Due to the required cooling of the CH2 facility to ensure an internal temperature of 25oC is not exceeded, a solar PV system was warranted investigation as a solution to reduce electricity usage and demand costs. As a result, Australand undertook detailed investigations of a solar PV solution for the CH2 facility. The drivers were predominantly to reduce electricity usage and demand costs and provide a hedge on future electricity price increases. Solgen was very thorough and professional in all stages of the project from initial discussions, through to tender negotiations, installation, and commissioning. The system is now operational and Solgen have continued to provide support in understanding the web based monitoring system and plant performance. Australand are very supportive of renewable energy and believe that solar PV systems will become common place on industrial facilities of this nature in the near future. A number of similar systems are being investigated for inclusion on upcoming projects.”

Paolo Bevilacqua, Sustainability Manager, Australand Property Group

Benefits

The installation of a 5.1kW solar power system will:

  • Generate enough solar energy to power 3- 4 classrooms.
  • Improve energy efficiency reducing energy consumption and operating costs.
  • Provide educational benefits for students and raise awareness of renewable energy in the community.
  • Reduce CO2 by 225 tonnes over 30 years, which is the equivalent to planting 187m2 of trees or removing 32 cars from Australian roads for 1 year.

Nowra Christian School Bursar, David Wilson, said the school had not only recognised the immediate benefits associated with reducing energy costs and greenhouse gases, but also the opportunity to provide students with a first-hand understanding of the viability of solar energy. Mr. Wilson said “Nowra Christian School believes that a good education is an education that provides students with a wide range of opportunities to discover and develop their gifts and abilities. Our new solar installation expands the learning opportunities for our students, by providing direct exposure to renewable energy generation.”

The system includes 30 high quality Schott polycrystalline 170 Watt modules that provide optimum efficiency over their lifespan compared to other modules and is accompanied by the most educational monitoring equipment available. Solgen Energy integrated the system into the school’s IT network to provide real time electricity generation statistics and a host of other insightful statistics that can be used in the school’s curriculum.

David Naismith, Director of Solgen Energy, said a web-enabled monitoring device built into the system provided students with a valuable hands-on opportunity to learn more about how solar power works and the benefits of renewable energy for the wider community.

David Wilson was extremely pleased with the service provided by Solgen Energy, “We have recommended Solgen Energy to other Schools in the district, they were fast and efficient”. David Naismith said Solgen Energy was proud to be helping schools play an integral part in Australia’s move to a low-carbon future by adopting solar technology to tackle climate change head on.

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