Tekapo Primary School first in NZ to generate and store solar power
6 September 2012
When Lake Tekapo School’s new back-up battery system began storing the electricity generated from the solar panels on its roof on 13 July, it achieved a first in New Zealand thanks to Genesis Energy’s Schoolgen programme.
The school can now claim that it is the only school in New Zealand to have the ability to generate its own electricity from solar power and be able to store it in a battery bank.
Schools participating in the Schoolgen programme all receive a 2kW array of photovoltaic solar panels, however the addition of the battery back-up system is specific to the Lake Tekapo School.
According to Genesis Energy’s Chief Executive, Albert Brantley, the battery back-up system will give the school the capacity to generate electricity during a blackout situation.
“The school is the emergency centre for the Lake Tekapo community and the back-up battery system will allow the school to run ‘off the grid’ in times of energy crisis or shortage for up to five days. So not only are we able to help the children learn about solar energy and energy efficiency, we can also do our part in supporting the community as a whole,” says Mr Brantley.
“As a company we are keen to bring solar energy to life for children across New Zealand. They will one day be our leaders and decision makers and so it is important that they understand the role renewable energy will play in both their personal lives and in the bigger picture for our country,”
Schools participating in the Schoolgen programme all receive solar panels and on-going support from the Schoolgen Team to integrate Schoolgen into their school’s Curriculum Delivery Programme. The Schoolgen website has teaching resources for teachers based on inquiry learning. The Key Learning Areas are unpacked with Achievement Objectives and templates for learning linked to Solar Energy and Energy Efficiency. The Schoolgen resources are freely available to all schools throughout the country, irrespective of whether or not they are directly involved in the Schoolgen programme.
The live data from each school gives very detailed information on how much electricity is being generated from each schools solar array. Students are able to see how much electricity their solar panels are producing with real time data via the Schoolgen website – www.schoolgen.co.nz.
Students from the Lake Tekapo School celebrated the launch of the Schoolgen programme on Wednesday 5 September with a performance at the Lake Tekapo Community Hall.
Members from the local community were invited, along with local dignitaries and staff from Genesis Energy.
For more information contact:
Public Affairs Manager
P: 09 580 4782
M: 021 681 305