An innovative project has equipped Pukeatua Primary School in Wainuiomata with solar panels that are expected to result in significant financial savings for the low decile school.
Hutt City Council and four private sponsors have provided the school with a large, 10kW solar PV power system. The project requires the school puts at least 80 per cent of the resulting financial savings from lower electricity costs into initiatives that will enhance the socio-economic wellbeing of its students.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says, “I would like to acknowledge WelTec, Parley Media, Ostro Energy and PAK’nSave Petone and Lower Hutt for their fantastic contribution to this Council led project.”
“This initiative has so many positive outcomes. It’s supporting environmental and economic sustainability and giving young people a greater awareness of how energy is generated and used. It’s also great to provide the school with long-term monetary savings to invest into students’ wellbeing.”
Pukeatua Primary School Principal Jenni Adam says the school plans to use the money to purchase ICT equipment, and a potting shed, glasshouse and fruit trees to enhance its Garden to Table programme.
Project coordinator Martin Barry, Hutt City Council’s Eco Design Advisor, hopes this model of support is replicated throughout the country.
Mr Barry explains “Schools are an ideal candidate for solar PV, as they consume most of their electricity during the day, as it is generated. Any unused energy is sold back to the grid.”
“Solar PV has an expected life span of 25 years, so it is intended this project will provide these enduring benefits into the longer term”
Pukeatua School won a tender sent out to the six decile 1 and 2 schools in the Hutt region that do not have solar.
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