The successful installation of a solar system at a school on Stewart Island is helping the community switch to diesel.
In 2019, the Ministry of Education announced the Competition Fund for Sustainable Development.
schools can apply for funds to help reduce energy use or replace non-renewable energy sources. Andrew Wells, managing director of
Sunergy Solar, said Halfmoon Bay School was one of 778 schools that applied and one of 94 successful schools. The cost of the
solar power system is less than US $ 50,000 and the installation is taking place at the same time as other renovation works.
60 panels are placed on its roof, and the system has a hybrid inverter with an 11kWh battery.
“Within two months of starting and running the system, we generated enough electricity to run the entire school,” Wells said.
Unused energy is stored in the battery, and the remaining energy is returned to the city power supply.
The Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr. Megan Woods, was with the students of Half Moon Bay School yesterday…
The Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr. Megan Woods, was with the students of Half Moon Bay School yesterday to celebrate the installation of the new system Solar energy on the roof. Photo: LAURA SMITH
This is especially important to Stewart Island because the community’s electricity is provided by diesel generators.
“They burn about 360,000 liters of diesel a year to provide electricity.
” So the electricity bill here is very expensive, about 60 cents per kilowatt hour.
The system can save schools about $ 8,000 per year and reduce diesel consumption by 5,000 liters per year. He said
data shows that, perhaps a surprise to some people, the island’s climate is well suited for solar power generation.
The Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr. Megan Woods, attended yesterday the celebration of the school.
This is a great opportunity, not just for the school, but for the entire island, he said.
“Across New Zealand, we are looking for ways to decarbonize our power and energy systems, and remote communities that depend on fossil fuels clearly face greater challenges.”
The government will work with the island’s communities to solve the decarbonisation. What will the future look like, he said. Ideas such as 4,444 wind farms have been proposed but have yet to be finalized.
However, the future of renewable energy is not an option. On the contrary, he said that it is a meeting of different forms of generations.
Dr. Woods’ pride in the children for Kura is obvious, not only for helping his immediate family members, but also for providing energy resistance on the island.
Principal Kath Johnson explained that the new system is very important to reduce the cost of electricity and its dependence on fossil fuels.
was installed during the school holiday in April. The new power supply is very suitable for school courses, especially those involving environmental education.
“He is a win-win in every aspect.”


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