In a bid to help slash carbon emissions and reduce energy costs, the Queensland government has now installed over 10,000 solar panels at schools across the Sunshine Coast. With the government’s 50% renewable energy target in place for 2030, this is just another step towards achieving that goal.
Advancing Clean Energy Schools
The Advancing Clean Energy Schools (ACES) program has been a $168 million dollar investment for the state, but has been widely praised for its results. While there are 10,000 new solar panels on school rooftops on the Sunshine Coast, a total of 200,000 panels have been installed at 912 schools across the state.
These panels are expected to generate up to 280MW of electricity every day. It’s enough to power 25,000 homes and represents a $26 million saving on electricity costs each year. The original plan was for 180,000 panels to be installed in 872 schools, but these targets were exceeded as the program went on.
Education Minister Grace Grace also noted that the ACES program alone supported 1,000 jobs during the pandemic. “In the 2022–23 budget alone, we are delivering an overall infrastructure investment portfolio valued at nearly $2 billion, driving the Queensland economy by supporting nearly 4200 jobs,” she said.
Building on the Cooler Cleaner Schools Program
Earlier in the year, in April, the Queensland Government also completed the $477 million Cooler Cleaner Schools program. This delivered air conditioning to every state school in Queensland by the start of Term 2, 2022.
The subsequent installation of solar panels across 912 schools helps to support the Cooler Cleaner Schools program by offsetting the added electricity costs created by the air conditioning. Both programs are part of the Government’s commitment to providing better school facilities for all Queenslanders.
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