Shearwater nearly excellent with 99kW solar – The Echo
Seventh grade students, Headmaster James Goodlet (second from left) and Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson (center back) celebrate Shearwater’s future for clean energy. Photo delivered
Shearwater, the Mullumbimby Steiner School, has switched to solar and installed a 99 kW system to power the school in the future.
The new system is part of a diverse approach taken by the school to reduce emissions and improve environmental performance.
The new principal, James Goodlet, has been on the job for nearly 12 months and said the school’s existing 8 kW solar system has failed and the time has come for a major upgrade.
“The school had planned to install the panels in 2020. However, with the onset of COVID-19 came financial uncertainty and the need to stop spending on infrastructure projects until we had a clearer picture of the impact of the pandemic.”
‘With the increase in electricity prices and the decrease in the price of solar modules, the opportunity arose to install now and return our investment quickly enough without great financial risk.
S.chool will cover the installation costs in four years
‘We estimate that the school will cover the installation costs in four years. So it’s a win for the environment and a win for the school’s finances.
Shearwater has a long history of integrating the natural environment into our educational experience and philosophy. The students went to great lengths to make Shearwater a more sustainable place and it is great that we have been able to support that vision with this project. ‘
The new solar system consists of 242 solar modules, each with an output of 410 watts per module, creating the 99.22 kW system.
“Unlike a normal household, which is empty most of the day while family members are studying or working, most of our electricity consumption occurs during the school day when our solar panels are working hard.
“So on school days we use most of the energy that we produce. It is important that there are enough panels at this time of year to account for fluctuations caused by wet and cloudy weather.
Lots of great successes
“A lot of work has already been done in this area, with many great achievements such as regenerative farming practices, waste management and the decade-long bush regeneration project that planted more than 20,000 trees and turned degraded agricultural land into a thriving wildlife corridor.
“Our 7th grade students recently planted over 700 native shrubs and trees, creating a small forest that they can watch growing for years to come.
Fear of the climate
“Every class in the school is given regular opportunities to repair and restore the local environment.
“Fear of the climate affects the well-being of many of our young people today. We want our students to know that they can be part of the solution. “
History of Shearwater’s 12th grade English course.