Solar Our Schools: State of Play - NSW
Write to the NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood asking her to work in partnership with the federal government to support funding and remove barriers to Solar Our Schools.
You can cut and paste the template below and customise it where indicated. Or write your own letter.
Email your letter to: [email protected]
Please also bcc our Volunteer Director [email protected]
The Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning
GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001
RE Solar Infrastructure for Schools & Early Learning Centres
INSERT: Brief specific info — how many children you have, where you live and why you are worried about their future due to climate change.
I am writing to ask the NSW State Government to work in partnership with the Federal Government to support Solar Our Schools: a COVID-19 recovery initiative that would see solar panels and batteries in all schools and early childhood centres across Australia.
This excellent economic investment will:
- Create many thousands of regional and local jobs
- Save schools and early childhood centres thousands of dollars per year to put towards educational resources
- Immediately reduce carbon emissions
I am one of more than 11,000 parents nationwide who have signed Australian Parents for Climate Action's open letter to the Prime Minister calling for Federal support for Solar Our Schools.
There are still many NSW state schools without solar or with insufficient solar, and none with batteries. I was pleased to see the recent budget allocation for pilot state schools to get solar and batteries. But many NSW early childhood centres and independent schools find the financial and administrative burden too great to access solar or batteries. Installing solar panels in a distributed way across the rooftops of early childhood centres and schools would allow them to generate solar for their operations, saving them many thousands of dollars in electricity bills, which can be put towards teaching and learning resources.
INSERT: Brief information about your own kids' school/preschools and whether they have solar. Why would solar (or more solar) and batteries be good for your school/preschool?
What's exciting about coupling solar with batteries is that it unlocks the ability of schools and early childhood centres to become Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) — allowing them to trade their excess solar power with the community via an energy market operator.
Homes like mine in the surrounding area can choose to buy dispatchable energy from school VPPs, enabling the school to earn money to put towards learning resources. This will also stabilize the grid during peak demand events. Schools are closed during most peak demand events — weekends, evenings and school holidays.
Enabling every Australian school and early childhood centre to act as VPPs would provide also 1000 megawatts of dispatchable power into the electricity grid — the equivalent of the Liddell coal-fired power plant.
Importantly, allowing schools to act as VPPs also enables their surrounding communities to have a resilient local power source and emergency safe haven, which is increasingly important in regional areas as we face climate-related big weather events.
I ask that you commit to working with the Federal Government to:
- Fund solar panels for state schools, who do not yet have solar or who have an insufficiently small system
- Fund a roll-out of batteries in all state schools
- Fund solar panels and batteries for NSW early childhood centres and independent schools (means-tested)
- Support schools operating as Virtual Power Plants
INSERT: Brief personal message about why this is so important to you.
I look forward to your response.
(Your full name and address)
What else can you do to progress Solar Our Schools?
Sign and share the Open Letter.
Sign up as a Solar Our Schools Champion to get involved at a state and local level.
Donate to the campaign to Solar Our Schools.