A 99kW off grid renewable power system has been opened at the Konomie Island Environmental Education Centre, near Yeppoon in Queensland.
The renewable energy system is the largest of its kind to be installed at a Queensland state school site.
It includes 258 Australian made solar panels, 36 lithium phosphate batteries, a wind turbine, and a backup generator for emergencies.
It is state-of-the-art, and is an example of what can be achieved with renewable energy technology in Queensland’s schools and other facilities.
The Queensland Government has invested $1.3 million to build the system, which was designed and delivered by Solar Hybrid Conversions.
The off-grid system, together with the sea grass beds grown and replenished by the school staff, makes the Konomie Island Environmental Education Centre carbon negative. It is the first carbon negative island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Konomie Island Environmental Education Centre Principal Andrew Gill said the new solar panel and lithium phosphate battery system produces and stores enough electricity to power 40 households.
“This will pave the way for the air-conditioning of accommodation cabins through renewable energy only.
Minister for Education Grace Grace said the off-grid system is a powerful educational tool to show the 2,500 students who visit Konomie Island Environmental Education Centre each year the latest in renewable energy systems.
“Hopefully we will inspire a new generation of environmental scientists and renewable technology engineers.”
Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga said it could be a blueprint for other islands around Australia and around the world.
“It’s not just about making the centre even more environmentally friendly, but incorporating education too.
“The system will be a teaching tool – these students go back to their lives all over Queensland with an understanding and focus on the importance of renewable energy and living a more sustainable life.”
The investment is part of the government’s targets to reduce emissions and complements other projects such as the installation of more than 200,000 solar panels across 900+ state schools throughout Queensland.