A free 6.6kW solar power system has been installed on Chewton Primary School funded by the MASH Community Solar Bulk-Buy which will reduce the school’s reliance on grid electricity by around 36 per cent. Electricity bill savings of around $1,000 a year from the system will go towards building an indigenous food garden to teach students about local flora.
Sustainability “key to everything we do”
“As a 5-Star Resource Smart School, sustainability is a core part of our work and key to everything we do”, said Chewton Primary School Principal, Bernadette McKenna. “We’re delighted to have this new solar system for the financial savings it will provide as well as the carbon emissions savings which I understand are equivalent to planting around 50 trees a year.”
“In addition to the indigenous food garden, we also want to use the savings to install a watering system with drip lines to reduce the amount of water used in the garden”, said Ms McKenna. “Upgrading the school’s insulation and lighting to reduce our energy usage and carbon footprint are two other items on our list.”
Grade 6 students had this to say about the new solar system:
It means our school and the community around here is more sustainable. – Xanthe
It’s great having solar panels because it saves us a lot of money. – Olivia
It means we don’t have to buy as much power because we can use what we produce. – Kirra, School Captain
It will help us produce less greenhouse gases. – Raffaella
Old system to be recycled
The new solar system replaces an older 4kW system that was no longer producing power at the time. “We’re excited that we can recycle the old system”, said Ms McKenna. “We’re in the process of finding new homes for the panels and inverter so they’ll continue to be useful elsewhere.”
Happy with installation
The installation took place a couple of weeks ago and is now awaiting a response from Powercor to address a high voltage issue before it can be switched on. “We’ve been very happy with the installation process – both the initial contact with the MASH team and dealing with their supplier, Cola Solar. The quality of the system is great. We’re feel very fortunate to have been selected for the MASH community bonus as the benefits for our school, the students and the local community are significant.” said Ms McKenna.
“This is the thirteenth solar system gifted to schools and community groups in the last three years through our bulk-buys,” said Jo Kaptein, Program Lead for the MASH Solar Bulk-Buy. “It’s always a cause for celebration when we’ve raised enough money to fund another free system for a school or community group. I’d like to thank everyone who has purchased a MASH system over the years as they’ve helped to make these solar gifts possible”.
To find out more about MASH call 1300 466 274 or visit mash.org.au.
- 6.6kW solar PV system
- Inverter: Fronius
- Solar panels: Seraphim 370 watt
- Annual kWh consumption before solar – approx. 11,167.9kWh
- Estimated consumption after solar – approx. 7,154.84kWh