Bright fu­ture

Lake Tekapo Pri­mary School is sport­ing an ar­ray of brand new so­lar pan­els on its roof.

Element - - Business -

The blaz­ing sun of Cen­tral Otago is now help­ing to power Lake Tekapo Pri­mary School since it was re­cently fit­ted with 2kW of so­lar pan­els.

As part of the Ge­n­e­sis En­ergy School­Gen pro­gramme, the Tekapo school was the 42nd school to be fit­ted with pan­els, but the first to have bat­tery stor­age in­cor­po­rated.

It’s a triple whammy: the power gen­er­ated from the pan­els can be sold back into the na­tional grid, re­duc­ing the sig­nif­i­cant power bill for run­ning the school; the kids get to learn about al­ter­na­tive forms of clean en­ergy gen­er­a­tion; and the bat­ter­ies mean that the school can dou­ble as an emer­gency community shel­ter in the event of a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter or power out­age.

“The school is the emer­gency cen­tre for the Lake Tekapo community and the back-up bat­tery sys­tem will al­low the school to run ‘off the grid’ in times of en­ergy cri­sis or short­age for up to five days. So not only are we able to help the chil­dren learn about so­lar en­ergy and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, we can also do our part in sup­port­ing the community as a whole,” said Al­bert Brant­ley, Ge­n­e­sis En­ergy chief ex­ec­u­tive. Schools par­tic­i­pat­ing in the School­gen pro­gramme all re­ceive so­lar pan­els and on­go­ing sup­port from the School­gen team to in­te­grate School­gen into their school’s Cur­ricu­lum De­liv­ery Pro­gramme. The live data from each school gives de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on how much elec­tric­ity is be­ing gen­er­ated from each schools so­lar ar­ray. Students are able to see how much elec­tric­ity their so­lar pan­els are pro­duc­ing with real-time data via the School­gen web­site – school­gen.co.nz.

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