26 September 2023

Hot roofs for cool school plan

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All Queensland public school roofs are to receive solar panels as part of a plan to extend the Department of Education’s existing solar program.

Minister for Education, Grace Grace said the additional power generated would mean every classroom, library and staff room in every State school in Queensland would be air-conditioned.

“Through the Cooler Cleaner Schools Program, we are providing a boost to our existing solar program,” Ms Grace said.

“An additional $71.1 million has been allocated to install solar PV systems at Queensland schools.”

She said the additional solar panels would make State schools a “virtual solar farm” able to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 25,000 homes.

“We want to ensure the energy needs associated with installing these new air-conditioning units will be offset by cleaner, greener electricity generation,” Ms Grace said.

“To do this, an additional 80,000 solar panels will be installed on Queensland schools, generating an extra 26MW of power.”

Ms Grace said State schools were among the biggest energy users in Queensland.

“Already, solar panels have been installed at 120 Queensland State schools during phase one of the rollout, with two more phases scheduled in the coming years,” she said.

“That means in total, more than 190,000 solar panels will eventually sit atop Queensland State schools.”

Ms Grace said it was important to address energy costs as more schools were built to meet future demand.

“This year alone we built eight new schools and delivered 71 new buildings,” she said.

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