Melbourne college to install 270kW solar to supply 50% of power

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Mazenod College to install Australia’s biggest school solar system – a 270kW PV array that will supply 50% of power needs of its Mulgrave campus.

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A secondary college in Melbourne, Victoria will install what is claimed to be Australia’s largest rooftop solar system yet for a school – a 270kW PV array that is expected to supply around half of its energy needs.

The Catholic boys school Mazenod College announced on Tuesday it had commissioned Enervest to install a rooftop solar system on its campus in the south-eastern suburb of Mulgrave, comprising more than 1,000 ReneSola PV panels and a range of SolarMax grid connected inverters.

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Mazenod College’s Mulgrave Campus in Melbourne

The system is expected to generate an average of 330MWh of solar power annually and is expected to provide close to 50 per cent of the College’s energy requirements, resulting in significant energy bill savings, and a reduction in the College’s carbon emissions by 455 tonnes a year. The system is also expected to deliver an internal rate of return (IRR) of up to 28 percent per annum.

“Mazenod College has made an investment in solar power because we have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint for the benefit of future generations,” said Fr Michael Twigg, Principal of Mazenod College.

“The school is conscious that the initial outlays will bring financial benefits both now and into the future, and our working families understand the value of well considered projects for the schools future growth.

“Through this project, we would like to raise the social awareness amongst our students and spread the word to the wider community that we can all play a part in living a more sustainable lifestyle.”

And while Mazenod may boast the biggest PV system of any college in Australia, it is certainly not alone in installing solar. According to SolarSchools.net, it now monitors over 1,500 Australian schools and community facilities with rooftop solar. Through this website, these schools can access their energy data for use in the classroom, compare their solar data with other sites and explore what other countries are doing to help reduce their energy bills.

There is a detailed energy education area and great energy resources to explore as well as the individual data sets and don’t forget our sister program Schoolgen sponsored by Genesis Energy which contains some great ebooks as well.

Mazenod students, meanwhile, can learn about the effect their school’s solar system is having on energy consumption via its SolarMax WebPortal, which will offer a real-time display of performance data, including input and output voltages, input and output currents, frequency, device temperature and yield over the internet.

Stage one of the Mazenod College solar system will get underway this month, with stages two and three to begin soon after. The entire project is expected to be completed by late January 2015.

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