A 10.5kW solar power system has just been installed on Harcourt Valley Primary School thanks to a $9,200 donation from the More Australian Solar Homes (MASH) community solar bulk-buy.
This 38-panel solar system will generate an average 45 kilowatt hours of electricity a day, supplying around 30% of the school’s electricity needs. Bill savings will be around $3,000 a year and CO2 emissions cut by around 16 tonnes annually. The balance of the system’s cost was covered by the school’s fund-raising program.
“Money saved on power bills will enable additional funds to be directed into maximising the learning outcomes of all students at Harcourt Valley Primary School,” said principal, Andrew Blake.
Solar embedded in curriculum – not just sitting on the roof!
The educational opportunities presented by this solar PV system will be a big focus, said Jo Kaptein, manager of the MASH community solar bulk-buy. “A ‘Solar TV’ will be installed in the library so students can understand how solar works as well as its financial and environmental benefits.”
“Students and staff will be able to see how much solar power is being produced at any time – and how much of that power is being used by the school, instead of drawing power from the grid”, says Jo.
“Integrating the educational benefits of this system into the school curriculum will achieved by supplying the school with multiple logins to the online solar monitoring system, Fronius Solar.web.
A very ‘real way’ of helping students understand solar
“We see the monitoring as a terrific way of helping students engage with the solar on the school’s roof in a way that is very real and practical”, said Andrew Blake. “It will help us bring the energy aspects of their sustainability studies to life.
Informed citizens of the future
“We want to help students become fully informed citizens of the future in terms of the environment and renewable energy”, said Andrew. “This solar system, donated through the support of literally hundreds of MASH participants, is going to play a huge part in helping us achieve this goal. Thanks MASH!”
MASH’s solar supplier came up with “best possible solution”
“Ultimately we’d love to have a bigger system”, said Andrew Blake. “Even with 38 panels on our gym roof, there’s room for more. We were really pleased with the advice we got from the MASH supplier, Macedon Ranges Solar Power, as we feel that they took all our requirements into account and came up with the best possible solution.
“Another big benefit is that the Fronius inverter actively monitors the amount of solar that’s being generated. So if anything goes wrong, Macedon Ranges Solar Power will receive an automated alerted so they can fix it. That gives us huge peace of mind!”
Find out more about MASH and get a solar quote
Acknowledging our partners in Mount Alexander Shire
MASH would like to acknowledge the ongoing support of the Mount Alexander Shire Council and Mount Alexander Sustainability Group who are partners of the MASH community solar bulk-buy in the Mount Alexander Shire.
Key stats about the new solar PV system for Harcourt Primary School
- School uses around 90kWh per day, on average, throughout the year
- Solar system will generate around 45kWh per day on average throughout the year
- Solar will provide at least 30% of the school’s annual electricity requirements
- Electricity bill savings will be around $3,000 a year
- CO2 emissions cut: around 16 tonnes per year (3 cars less on our roads); over 25 years that 75 fewer cars on the road
Solar system details
- System size: 10.5kW
- Number of panels: 38 panels
- Type of panels: JA Solar 275 watt panels
- Inverter: Fronius Symo 3 phase 10kW inverter
- Monitoring: Fronius Solar.Web Premium monitoring platform including the Fronius Solar.TV
- Fronius Smart Meter (providing analysis of consumption in real-time) so the school can see to what degree they are self-sufficient for their electricity requirements at any point in time – or for any time period.
Installed by Macedon Ranges Solar Power.