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Key outcomes

  • Savings of AUD$100,000 per year on electricity
  • Reduced power usage by up to 80%
  • Payback period of seven years
  • Cash flow postitive from the first quarter
  • Over 400% return on investment before batteries need replacing
  • Savings over the life of the system around AUD$2,500,000
  • Generation of about AUD$20,000 in Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) per year
Bundaberg Christian College (BCC) caters for over 600 students from kindergarten-age through to year 12. The school's purpose-built campus has been entirely self-sufficient on water for some years and is driven to switch entirely to its own on-site solar energy production in the future.


Business Problem  


During the summer months, many schools in regional Queensland see increases in electricity consumption of 300% purely based on air-conditioning loads. Combined with rising energy prices and huge peak demand charges, schools across the country are exploring opportunities to become less dependent on the electricity grid and stay financially viable. Peak demand charges form a considerable part of commercial power bills as a flat rate based on the maximum amount of energy drawn from the grid at any time during the billing cycle. As a 'green' school that is already entirely self-sufficient on water, BCC is looking for more ways to reduce their environmental impact and one day become entirely self-sufficient on electricity.  

The Solution  

 
  • 193.98kWp of QCELLS Q.PRO solar PV panels
  • 252kWh usable Hitachi battery storage
  • Replacement of 1,500 fluoro lights with LEDs

BCC's hybrid solar installation supplies the school with electricity during the day with the battery storage coming into play during peak demand times, shoulder hours and the evening. It is the largest hybrid solar system of its kind in Australia.

The full LED Lighting upgrade combined with a variety of other energy efficiency measures achieved an immediate halving of electricity usage on-site. This resulted in a direct cost reduction for the project because there wasn't a need to install much in the way of solar solar. The reduction in peak demand charges now saves the school thousands of dollar each year.

BCC is proud to position itself as a prime learning ground for sustainability, economics, and engineering. The college has seen a lot of interest for its hybrid solar installation from its students and other schools and has seamlessly integrated the system and its benefits into its education curriculum, which is another important benefit apart from the financial and ecological considerations.

Testimonial: Extract from Schools News article


"Educational outcomes were an added bonus for the school community. Teacher and student tours were conducted to explain the interaction between the solar panels and the batteries”, Mr Keune said, and “students have access to our solar log online and on a monitor, which is always on display”.

The solar log reveals details like yield for the day, month or year; current consumption, surplus charging of batteries, how many tonnes of CO2 saved, how many barrels of oil saved, and even the number of trees saved. The educational gains to students seem considerable and a purpose-built monitor gives students constant access to the solar data of their school. Mr Keune said the school’s media students have completed a website project about the solar system, and science classes in primary and secondary are planning environmental studies on the solar power system.

“We are continually discovering the many opportunities contained within the Australian Curriculum to integrate various aspects of our solar system.”
 
 
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