- Schools Virtual Power Plant project expanded in Kalgoorlie and Geraldton
- Project includes development of STEM skills to equip students for the future
- McGowan Government's commitment to Schools VPP project totals $8.8 million
- Education Minister Sue Ellery was in Kalgoorlie today launching the new Virtual Power Plant at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School.
The Minister also announced that there will be an expansion of the Schools Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot project in Kalgoorlie and Geraldton.
The McGowan Government has increased funding for the VPP project, which is being delivered through Synergy, as part of a $4.8 million election commitment.
Three Kalgoorlie-Boulder schools, and a further three from Geraldton, will be selected by Synergy to take part in the expanded VPP project following completion of an analysis and assessment process later this year.
The additional funding brings the total investment in the Schools VPP pilot project to $8.8 million, with 16 schools now set to be transformed into smart, green power plants.
A VPP is a network of energy resources such as rooftop solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles that are combined or 'aggregated' and shared with an energy retailer, such as Synergy.
Battery installation at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, one of the first schools included in the project, is now complete with its power plant expected to be operational by late 2021.
The Schools VPP pilot tests how a VPP can help a school better understand and manage its energy use, as well as improve the stability and reliability of the electricity grid.
Learning opportunities related to STEM education are also being developed as part of the pilot in collaboration with teachers and education providers, as we inspire the next generation in a transforming energy world.
This STEM learning experience will be focused on equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to explore new possibilities for WA's energy future.
This initiative is part of the State Government's Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, transitioning towards a renewable energy future.
For more information, visit https://www.synergy.net.au/Our-energy/For-you/Virtual-Power-Plant
Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
"We want students in Western Australia to embrace science and new technologies.
"Turning schools into virtual power plants gives students a practical look at how energy is generated in a sustainable way.
"The skills learned in this program will help set students up for the jobs of the future.
Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston:
"This is an exciting announcement for Kalgoorlie Boulder Community High School, which is one of the first Western Australian schools to be turned into a Virtual Power Plant.
"The pilot will test how a VPP can help a school better manage its energy use and also cut its electricity bills.
"The Schools Virtual Power Plant project is an important part of the McGowan Government's Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap - for transitioning towards a cleaner, energy future."
Comments attributed to Kalgoorlie MLA Ali Kent:
"I am thrilled that students at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School now have access to learning practical skills in future facing technologies.
"Even more exciting is the fact more students in our region will get this opportunity because of the expansion of the program to a further three Kalgoorlie-Boulder schools.
Minister's office - 6552 5700