In light of alarming reports about the impact of climate change, schools are expanding the way their students are educated about issues such as global warming, overpopulation and air pollution.
However, principals are also walking their talk by ensuring the facilities in which their students are being educated are environmentally friendly and promote sustainability to the next generation.
One school that recently took a major leap in this respect is Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Melbourne (PLC), which has become one of the first schools in Australia to achieve a 100% net renewable outcome for electricity use.
PLC signed on to a Corporate Renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with licensed wholesale electricity retailer Flow Power. The agreement will see the College source its power from grid-scale off-site wind and solar farms as well as from the installation of a large-scale, on-campus solar PV system.
The 100% net renewable electricity outcome will also see surplus renewable electricity shared by the College with the grid. Direct access to live energy readings and data will help students to better understand the College’s energy usage.
PLC principal, Dawn Clements, said the College is proud to be a leader in this space and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.
“PLC has a long history of leadership and innovation and this project will help inspire and encourage our girls to continue to seek more sustainable solutions for future generations,” Clements said.
“We are very excited about the project and we look forward to doing our part in achieving a low emissions future.”
PLC school captain, Imashi Iddawela, said students are thrilled about the College turning to renewables and are looking forward to learning more about the College’s use of renewable energy.
“Climate change is a major issue for our generation so we’re excited that our College is leading the way in making such a change,” Iddawela said.
“The real-time data will help us to better understand where our energy is coming from and how much we’re using. It will also help us adopt more energy efficient practises.”
Flow Power managing director, Matthew van der Linden, applauded PLC on its commitment to renewable energy and welcomed the opportunity for collaboration with the College Community throughout the project.
“PLC is showing real leadership in the renewable energy space. Schools are in a great position to take advantage of renewable power from both economic and teaching perspectives, and our partnership with PLC will showcase all that is possible,” Mr van der Linden said.
The College is expected to have achieved this goal with completion of the infrastructure projects by 2020.