Client Success Story

Western Sydney Catholic Schools Plug into Solar Power

The Client

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

With almost 5,000 staff members and around 43,000 students, the Diocese of Parramatta includes 58 primary schools and 22 secondary schools, two Catholic Trade Training Centres, four Catholic Early Learning Centres and 23 Catholic Out of School Hours Care Centres. It is located in the heart of Western Sydney, one of the fastest growing areas of New South Wales, and comprises 80 vibrant and dynamic school communities that stretch from Dundas Valley, north to Richmond, west to Katoomba and south to Luddenham.

Executive summary

Nineteen Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta schools have ‘switched on’ to free solar power and energy efficient LED lighting, under a program tipped to reduce carbon emissions of 2,442 tonnes each year across the schools. The program has been rolled out by energy services business Verdia and involves the installation of 4,286 solar panels and 16,942 LED lights across 19 primary and high schools throughout Western Sydney. The new LED lighting will provide better lighting levels in classrooms and an improved learning environment for students.

Key

project facts

4,286

4,286 solar panels are being installed across 19 primary and high schools in western Sydney generating 2,942,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year

35

The solar panels would fill about 35 tennis courts

16,942

16,942 LED lights are being installed – each using about half the amount of energy as an older style bulb

2,337t

The program is expected to reduce carbon emissions at the schools by 2,442 tonnes each year

6 years

It’s estimated the investment will have a payback period of just over six years

19 schools ‘switch to solar’

Nineteen Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta schools have ‘switched on’ to free solar power and energy efficient LED lighting, under a program tipped to reduce carbon emissions of 2,442 tonnes each year across the schools.

The program has been rolled out by energy services business Verdia and involves the installation of 4,286 solar panels and 16,942 LED lights across 19 primary and high schools throughout Western Sydney. The new LED lighting will provide better lighting levels in classrooms and an improved learning environment for students.

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Director Enterprise Mark Holyoake says…

The entire program is an opportunity to offer students and the community a working demonstration of renewable energy hopefully leading to greater interest in sustainability and STEM subjects more broadly.

“As part of our Catholic Mission, we share a commitment to the care of our common home, the planet. Pope Francis calls us to work together to protect God’s creation. This terrific program is a very practical way to do just that.

“This massive commitment to sustainability will mean reduced carbon emissions of 2,442 tonnes each year across the 19 CEDP schools involved in the program, which works out to be the same as taking 1,370 cars off the road,’’ Mr Holyoake said.

“More than 1 in 5 Catholic schools across Australia are solar smart – we would like to increase that number.

“Our business studies students will be encouraged to undertake the analysis of the results of our program before we commit to a possible extension to all schools across the diocese.”

Verdia CEO Paul Peters says…

The solar PV systems installed across the 19 schools would produce more than 2.9 megawatts hours of electricity each year or enough to power about 506 typical homes.

“The solar PV systems will produce emissions free energy on site – cutting their grid-fed supply even more.”

“Each LED light uses about half the energy of the older style lights and they last about five times longer. So, you don’t replace them as often and they draw down much less energy from the grid.

Results will be monitored once the program is complete

Ten schools have already had their solar PV systems and LED lights installed, with the remaining schools due to complete their installation before the start of the 2020 school year.

Once the program is complete it means a quarter of all Catholic schools across Western Sydney will be powered by solar energy. The results of this program will be carefully monitored before being considered for the remaining 60 schools throughout the region.

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