MIL OSI – Source: Hutt City
Headline: Solar in schools saves $
Celebrating the saving, Pukeatua School Principal Mrs Jenni Adam says, “We were somewhat surprised about how much we saved when you consider the poor summer and winter we’ve had. It just goes to show you how vital it is to have solar panels. The money saved will go directly back into supporting our technology curriculum allowing students to explore the world of 3d printing.”
The Solar in Schools project is a collaboration between Council and four local business sponsors – Weltec, Parley Media, Ostro Energy and PAK’nSave. The programme provides low decile schools with a large solar PV array for free, in exchange for redirecting at least 80% of the resulting electricity bill savings into initiatives that will enhance the socio-economic wellbeing of its students.
Ricoh recently donated three 3d printers to Pukeatua School and this year’s solar savings will go towards buying the plastic filament for the printers and professional development.
“Future savings will possibly go towards the purchase of a seed/green house. This supports our Garden to Table and Maara Kai initiative.”
Eco Design Advisor for Hutt City Council and project coordinator Martin Barry says, “Instead of paying their power company they’re buying food and computers for the kids.”
If you want to know the technical details, the school has purchased 10,439 kWh less electricity this year off the grid. This is about the same carbon footprint as driving a car between Wellington and Auckland 13 times.
Schools are an ideal candidate for solar PV, as they consume most of their electricity during the day as it is generated. Solar PV has an expected life span of 25 years, so it is intended this project will provide these enduring benefits into the future.
It is hoped this model will be replicated by other councils throughout New Zealand.