Catholic schools plug in to solar power in Sydney’s west

Catholic solar powered schools

Nineteen solar powered schools in the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta have plugged in to a program that aims to reduce carbon emissions of 2,442 tonnes each year across the schools.

The schools in Sydney’s west are learning a lesson about the environment as they plug into renewable solar power.

The program involves the installation of 4,286 solar panels and 16,942 LED lights across 19 primary and high schools throughout Western Sydney.

Catholic schools embrace solar in Sydney's west. Image: Pixabay

Light bulb moment: Catholic schools embrace solar in Sydney’s west. Image: Pixabay

New LED lighting will provide better lighting levels in classrooms and also an improved learning environment for students.

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Director Enterprise Mark Holyoake said the Pope called on Catholics “to protect God’s creation”.

Catholic solar powered schools payback in just over 6 years

The solar PV systems installed across the 19 schools should produce more than 2.9 MWh of electricity each year.

  • 4,286 solar panels installed across 19 primary and high schools in western Sydney.
  • Installation of 16,942 LED lights.
  • The program should reduce carbon emissions at the schools by 2,442 tonnes each year – the same as taking 1,370 cars of the road.
  • Saving the schools up to $1.1m per year in energy and maintenance costs.
  • Estimated payback period of just over six years.

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

Once completed a quarter of all Catholic schools across Western Sydney will have solar energy.

The results of this program will be carefully monitored before being considered for the remaining 60 schools throughout the region.

Solar powered schools part of growing awareness

A clear majority of Australians backed the school climate change “strikes” in March. They signal a growing awareness by school children about the environment.

Students across the nation took time out from school to join the School Strike 4 Climate demonstrations.

A ReachTell poll showed 54 per cent of Australians backed students’ demands. These included a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy like solar power by 2030.