Lowanna College

Lowanna College is the largest secondary school in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria. The 975 boys and girls attending the school are drawn from rural townships, where most parents work in local coal-fired power stations or in agriculture.

The recent closure of one of three large power stations nearby saw the loss of 800 jobs, which placed considerable pressure on the community. The school is therefore at the heart of the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of power.

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The project will cost slightly more than $90,000 and the monies will mainly be spent on:

1) Sustainability Leadership Program for 20 students, and

2) Installation of a 76kW solar PV system (see below for a full cost breakdown). The latter will save the school almost $11,000 per year, equivalent to around 15% of its annual expenditure on electricity.

The project will also install LEDs in classrooms and run various small-scale renewable energy demonstration projects. In addition, it plans to launch a horticulture and biodiversity program featuring initiatives such as a water-efficient vegetable plot and an owl habitat.

At $744 per kW installed, the 76kW PV system is good value. This takes into account subsidies (Small-scale Technology Certificates) worth $36,117.

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