SMART MOVE: David Reed, the business manager at St Luke's Anglican School, looks over the plans for a solar system that is about to be installed.
SMART MOVE: David Reed, the business manager at St Luke's Anglican School, looks over the plans for a solar system that is about to be installed. Brian Cassidy

Bundy school's big plans for solar-powered classrooms

IN A move to reduce their environmental footprint and lower energy costs, St Luke's Anglican School is installing 792 solar panels.

Once up and running early next year, the solar system and battery combination is to reduce the school's annual energy bill by 95 per cent, saving $125,000.

St Luke's Anglican School business manager David Reed said the system and battery was an exciting win for the school's students, teachers and the environment.

"What first prompted it was our electricity contract was increasing by 30 per cent in costs and electricity usage was increasing year on year," Mr Reed said.

 

SOLAR: The plans for the soon to be installed solar and battery system for St Luke's Anglican School.
SOLAR: The plans for the soon to be installed solar and battery system for St Luke's Anglican School. contributed

"We put in smart sensors across the school to automatically turn off lights, fans, air conditioners when nobody was in the room and saw a 25-30 per cent electricity reduction and then we looked at solar and battery storage."

Mr Reed said nine buildings on the campus would have the panels installed, and this would be done by March next year.

"Students have responded well and so have the teachers ... they have embraced this technology (smart sensors) over the last 18 months and become more conscious," he said.

"Before we would have air conditioners, fans and lights that would be running with windows open and in a school its hard to control that because you might have a 20-minute break and nobody shuts it down.

"It just takes one window or door to be open and it becomes not really ideal from an energy management standpoint."

With the project expected to cost over $800,000, Mr Reed said financial modelling found the return on investment for the solar and battery combination was greater than what would have been seen with just a solar panel installation.