FILE PHOTO: Berserker State School will be getting solar panels as part of a $97 million state roll-out across Queensland schools.
FILE PHOTO: Berserker State School will be getting solar panels as part of a $97 million state roll-out across Queensland schools. Trevor Veale/ The

20 Rocky and Keppel schools to go green with solar panels

BERSERKER State School has been selected for a roll out of solar panels to be installed on roofs across Queensland schools.

Not only will the solar cut down power costs and the carbon footprint, it will also support the region's local economy through jobs.

The State Government announced yesterday they will spend $97 million over three years to help Queensland schools cut their combined power bill by about 20 percent.

The Advancing Clean Energy Schools (ACES program) will deliver energy efficiency and big savings for about 800 state schools, saving an estimated $10.2 million.

Queensland state schools are among the government's largest energy users, with an annual energy bill of more than $50 million.

The first phase of the program this year will include up to 30 schools in each of the Department of Education's seven regions with Berserker State School selected for Capricornia.

The program will see an investment of $40 million in solar photovoltaic systems and $57 million on making schools more energy efficient.

Member for Keppel and Assistant Education Minister Brittany Lauga and Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rouke met with Berserker State School's acting principal, Mandy Rankins, yesterday to announce the funding.

Ms Lauga said 20 schools in Rockhampton and Keppel have been included for the ACES program.

"This will be a wonderful way in which schools can save money on their electricity costs,” she said.

"We know schools spend around $10 million on electricity across Queensland each and every year.

"So these solar panels will help save much-needed, very important dollars that are being spent, that can be reinvested back into resources, capital works and expanding this program into the future.”

Ms Lauga enthusiastically detailed how the program would be "use local suppliers wherever possible.”

"Not only will this program help schools save money on their electricity bills but it will also help grow jobs and our local economy by way of local businesses being able to participate in this program,” she said.

Mr O'Rouke said the project was "a great commitment.”

"The advances in technology are allowing state schools to actually invest in this and we are seeing a significant reductions in those ongoing costs across the state,” he said,

"It's all about creating jobs and getting on with it.”

The program is expected to roll out as soon as possible with tenders open in the coming months.

"The size of the panels and the priority of the roll out of that is based on school numbers, current costs and also current infrastructure, work that is due on those properties,” Mr O'Rourke said.