The installation of Australia's largest private school solar farm at Shalom College in Bundaberg has begun after almost three years of planning.
Renewable energy company Gem Energy has undertaken work on the project and has utilised local installation company, Elvery's Electrical, to assist with the installation.
According to Gem Energy's marketing manager Phoenix Shaw-Collery, the electrical reconfiguring of the project started in January at the school with the main civils and tracking system installation set to begin in March.
“This project will feature 810kW total installed solar panel capacity, with 1160kWh of Tesla battery power,” he said.
“This has been tailored to suit the needs of the school and future growth.”
Phoenix said the project was the largest installation of its type in Australia at a private education facility.
He said many preparations were made to ensure the area at the school was suitable for the solar farm.
“Trees were removed in order to make space for the ground-mount array, however, we will be replanting 3,000 trees elsewhere as part of the biodiversity scheme and this is offset by the environmental benefits of the system,” he said.
“Work is currently planned to be completed mid-April, with commissioning and operations planned to be end of April.”
School to reap solar farm benefits
Once up and running, Phoenix said the school would experience an array of significant benefits from the solar farm installation.
“The school will benefit from being a market leader in renewable energy and pushing the boundaries of what can be done if a pro-active process is implemented,” he said.
“Being so close to the school itself, the system provides a great example to the kids that renewable energy is a viable, modern and clean energy source.”
Phoenix said the solar farm was part of a bigger project across a range of schools in Queensland.
“This deal is a part of our 6MW+ partnership with Catholic Education Rockhampton,” he said.
“This partnership includes providing all or a mix of solar energy, LED lighting and battery storage to 50+ schools in North Queensland.”
The solar farm installation comes as Shalom College also plan for the construction of a new teaching block, providing an additional 14 learning spaces in a two-storey collaborative learning area.
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