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