Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Corrective Services

    Goldfields leads Schools Virtual Power Plant trial

    4/08/2020 2:45 PM
    • Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School to lead innovative solar project
    • Investments in battery storage will cut school's electricity bills
    • $4 million towards transforming schools into Virtual Power Plants
    • Unlocks broader community value and energy system stability  

    Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School is the first school to be confirmed in the McGowan Government's Schools Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot project.


    The first Schools Virtual Power Plant, located at the Goldfields school, is the direct result of the McGowan Government's investment in Kalgoorlie's new energy future.


    The solar panels and battery are expected to be installed over the coming months.


    As part of the WA Recovery Plan, the McGowan Government will invest $4 million towards transforming up to 10 schools into smart VPPs - installed by Synergy.


    A VPP is a network of distributed energy resources such as solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles that are integrated and shared with an energy retailer.


    Schools will be provided with commercial batteries to store their excess energy for later use, which will also assist with grid stability. This is a step towards a more sustainable future.


    The trial will run for 24 months and it is expected at the end of the pilot, schools will save on their electricity bills and learn more about the benefits of solar power.


    Participating schools, determined in conjunction with the Department of Education, have been chosen based on grid suitability and are all from within the South West Interconnected System. More schools will be announced over the coming weeks.


    The announcement forms part of the McGowan Government's $66.3 million renewable energy technologies package, recently launched, which will boost innovative, clean energy projects throughout Western Australia.


    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


    "I'm pleased to kick off this trial today at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, which teaches students about the benefits of renewable energy and new technologies, and will help improve the Goldfields region's renewable energy footprint.


    "This pilot is another example of how my Government continues to invest in renewable energy technologies and develop a pathway for more job and training opportunities.


    "It builds on investments we're making in new industries and sectors to help the State rebound stronger than ever in our recovery journey to establish a pipeline of jobs for Western Australians."


    Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston:


    "This is an exciting milestone for the McGowan Government, the Schools Virtual Power Plant pilot will pave the way for a more energy efficient system in Western Australia.


    "Regional Western Australians will be able to enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar and improved power quality in their local communities.


    "This initiative supports the McGowan Government's Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, which will help transition WA towards a cleaner, greener energy future."


    Comments attributed to Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn:


    "This is a great project for Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, particularly for students studying STEM subjects.


    "The Virtual Power Plant will be installed by the end of the year, with the project lasting 24 months.


    "Our local residents will also be able to enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar and improved power quality in their community."


    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Energy Minister's office - 6552 6700