Back to stories Generating Passion
Cashmere High School
Location New Zealand
Year / Category 2016 / Global High Schools – Oceania
Project Installed 25 kW solar panels, 2 kW wind turbine, piezoelectric floor tiles


Nola Smart is part of a student group that proposed installing a wind turbine, rooftop solar PV panels and piezoelectric floor tiles at their school, Cashmere High School in Christchurch, New Zealand. Their goal wasn’t just clean energy, but also to promote awareness and education.

Students are inspired by the project, and the overall vision is that this will motivate them to entertain other innovative ideas for sustainable energy in their own lives and future careers.

The piezoelectric floor tiles, which generate electricity from the force applied by the footfall of students and teachers, don’t produce as much energy as solar, but “the educational impact is huge” and it is with this mind-set that students are challenged to sustain their passion in renewable energy.

The enthusiasm from students and teachers alike is clear, as they do regular check-ins using the school’s online dashboard to see in real time how much electricity the different renewable power components are generating.

Participating in the project has had a big impact on Nola, who is now studying urban planning and urban design at university and hopes to work with non-profit organisations focused on making cities around the world more sustainable. “I’ve been shown through this project that implementing new ideas can lead to unexpected outcomes that can really change your future.”

“All you need to do is start the conversation about sustainability. The support out there for a more sustainable society is overwhelming.”