The Queensland state government has announced plans to put solar energy systems on the roofs of up to 400 kindergartens as part of its $5.76 million Solar Kindergarten Installation Program.
Education minister Cameron Dick said the solar power rollout would begin in April this year with 1.5 kilowatt (KW) systems to be installed on 166 Creche and Kindergarten Association (C&K) community kindergartens.
“Kindergartens play an important role in a child’s development and this program will help make them more sustainable over time, both financially and environmentally,” Mr Dick said.
“I am pleased that these C&K services throughout Queensland will receive solar-power units to help create sustainable learning and play environments for our children.”
An additional 240 non-C&K centres will benefit from the solar panel program with a commitment from the Bligh government to ensuring every child of kindergarten age receives access to education from a qualified teacher.
The minister said that solar energy plays an important role in lowering greenhouse gas emissions and saving money on electricity bills.
“These solar installations will generate enough energy to power 125 Queensland homes and save 877 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to taking almost 200 cars off the road,” Mr Dick said, stating that in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with each kindergarten, the solar power systems will help reduce each service’s yearly electricity costs by up to $400.
“This is good news for parents and kindergarten operators, who will be able to use the savings for more resources for children.”
The Solar Kindergarten Installation Program puts the finishing touches on the government’s Solar Schools program that have led to the installation of solar panels on 94 percent of the state’s schools in the past three years.
On a related topic, the Federal National Solar Schools Program (NSSP) 2011-12 funding round and application guidelines are yet to be announced.
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