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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP


Two Upper Hunter electorate schools are taking part in an innovative way to increase their use of renewable energy, with a call made for tenders to deliver the first stage of the Schools Renewable Energy Infrastructure Pilot Project.

The first stage of the project will see batteries and solar PV systems installed in 25 schools across NSW to generate and store renewable electricity, reduce power bills and demand on the electricity network. The installation of batteries will also provide additional electrical capacity.

Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell said this is a great opportunity for students at Vacy Public School and Willow Tree Public School to learn about sustainability.

“It is so important our students are aware of how to generate sustainable electricity,” Mr Layzell said.

“This will not only allow students at Willow Tree and Vacy to learn about sustainability but also allow the NSW Government to understand how we can expand the role of schools in supporting our move towards increased use of renewable energy.

“By generating renewable energy ourselves, the Department of Education will benefit from lower energy bills and any excess solar energy will be stored in batteries and/or fed back into the electricity grid,” Mr Layzell said.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said that she was thrilled to invite tenders from qualified applicants who can design, supply, and install the solar PV and batteries at participating schools

“The Pilot Project will provide opportunities for contractors with specialist qualifications and accreditations in the design and installation of renewable energy technology in regional NSW,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Work is expected to start during the summer school holiday period with the aim of having the systems operational soon thereafter.” Ms Mitchell said.

The Schools Renewable Energy Infrastructure Pilot Project, which was announced in late 2020, aims to assess the benefits and costs to the State of the large-scale implementation of solar systems and batteries, together with other initiatives that have the potential to reduce demand on the electricity network.


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