- Rooftop solar and batteries to be installed at seven schools in Geraldton, Kalbarri and Kalgoorlie
- WA-first VPPs will support the State's renewable energy transformation
- State Government's commitment to Schools VPP Pilot Project totals $8.8 million
Synergy has signed contracts with two Western Australian companies to supply rooftop solar systems and battery storage as part of the Schools Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Pilot Project regional expansion.
The $8.8 million Schools VPP Pilot Project is being delivered in partnership between the Department of Education and Synergy over two stages at 17 schools.
Design, supply, installation and commissioning of batteries and solar systems will be delivered by Balance Services Group at three schools in Kalgoorlie, and Hybrid Systems Australia at three schools in Geraldton and one school in Kalbarri.
The WA-first VPPs will help better manage each school's electricity consumption and will play a role in improving system security.
A VPP is a network of energy resources, such as rooftop solar panels and batteries, which are combined and shared with Synergy to feed into the network in the same way as a traditional power station.
The first 10 metropolitan and regional schools to be transformed into smart and flexible VPPs as part of stage one reached full operation in June.
Installation for stage two of the Schools VPP Pilot Project will commence in early 2023 at the following schools:
- Champion Bay Senior High School, City of Geraldton;
- Geraldton Senior High School, City of Geraldton;
- Hannans Primary School, City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder;
- Kalbarri District High School, Shire of Northampton;
- Kalgoorlie Primary School, City Kalgoorlie-Boulder;
- O'Connor Primary School, City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder; and
- Waggrakine Primary School, City of Geraldton.
Funding for the regional expansion of the Schools VPP Pilot Project is part of the Schools Clean Energy Technology Fund, with the State Government investing $8.8 million in the program.
For more information, visit https://www.synergy.net.au/Our-energy/For-tomorrow/Schools-VPP-Pilot-Project
Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston:
"The Schools Virtual Power Plant Pilot Project has the potential to play a major role in Western Australia's energy transformation.
"As the first VPP in WA, it will support a blueprint for this kind of capability and technology into future.
"The batteries and solar panels can help make the local electricity grid more stable and reliable by storing and sharing renewable energy at a community level."
Comments attributed to Education Minister Tony Buti:
"The Schools VPP Pilot Project is inspiring the next generation to explore new possibilities for WA's energy future while providing cost benefits to schools across WA.
"By supporting schools to become more energy efficient during the day we are also helping to keep electricity supply and demand in balance for everyone's benefit.
"The pilot's expansion to seven additional regional schools will help ensure WA's renewable energy future belongs to the whole community."
Comments attributed to Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton:
"I am thrilled that three schools in the electorate of Geraldton have been included in the State Government's Schools Virtual Power Plant Project.
"The new solar and battery units will boost energy reliability for students learning at two high schools and a primary school in the Geraldton area."
Comments attributed to Kalgoorlie MLA Ali Kent:
"Three primary schools in the electorate of Kalgoorlie are set to benefit from this innovative energy infrastructure project.
"Besides boosting energy security and reducing reliance on fossil fuels, the State Government's Schools Virtual Power Plant Project will also help the schools better manage electricity consumption."
Energy Minister's office - 6552 6700
Education Minister's office - 6552 6400