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Solar panels being installed at Geraldine High School to be ready in time for term three

The installation of 150 solar panels to the roof of a South Canterbury school is underway.

Geraldine High School students heading back to class for term three on July 22, will be greeted by a 45kWp (kilowatt peak) photovoltaic system expected to save the school more than $400,000 in electricity costs over the next 25 years.

With energy displays being fitted in a few classrooms as well, students will be able to track how much energy the panels draw in and how much is consumed, principal Simon Coleman said.

"They'll be able to have discussions about science and alternate energies," he said.

The school was already discussing expanding its array due to the "big uptake" from people in the community keen to contribute a $150 panel.

"The more we can do, the less we need to use through the normal networks," Coleman said.

"We need to get ourselves set up with the two roofs, then we'll start looking at possibilities for the future."

Support from Temuka Geraldine Rotary and district farmers had helped kick-start the $64,000 installation, he said.

Woodbury Electrical managing director Nick Highton, working on the project on behalf of Power Technology in Auckland, said he had previously installed solar panels to Lake Tekapo, Woodbury, Winchester schools, and St Joseph's school in Temuka.

"It's quite beneficial for a school because they[the school] only operate during the day. They don't have to worry about having enough energy for nighttime [as residential properties do]."

The solar panels would go a long way to offsetting the school's energy costs, Highton said.


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