Victorian school installs 600kW solar system, goes 130% renewable

by | May 12, 2021 | News

Republished from One Step Off the Grid, 28 April 2020.

PLC solar system. Source: Andy McCarthy LinkedIn

A 600kW rooftop solar system has been installed at Victoria’s Presbyterian Ladies College, taking the well known private school to 130 per cent renewables when combined with an existing solar and wind energy offtake deal with Flow Power.

Victorian PV retailer Gippsland Solar said last week that the project at PLC – one of the installation team’s “largest, and most challenging,” to date – had been successfully completed at the school.

The job was presumably made a little easier, logistically speaking, with no students on campus – due to the state’s Coronavirus lock-down. Apart from that, however, it appears to have been a highly complex job.

“The closer you look at this installation, the more intricate and detailed it becomes,” said Gippsland Solar CEO and founder Andy McCarthy on LinkedIn. (McCarthy is now also the CEO of RACV Solar, which late last year acquired Gippsland Solar.)

“This was a monumental challenge for our engineering and delivery teams, but we are thrilled to say that they have raised the bar even higher on this project,” he said.

“Thanks to the team at PLC for entrusting Gippsland Solar with this amazing project. We have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership, and look forward to delivering many years of solar-powered savings for you,” McCarthy added.

As One Step reported in June last year, PLC – which was first established in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Burwood in 1875 – is also signed up to a Corporate Renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Flow Power to source its grid supplied electricity from various wind and solar farms.

Melbourne-based Flow Power boasts a rapidly growing list of businesses choosing to source renewable electricity from its portfolio of large-scale renewables projects, including the Ararat Wind Farm in Victoria, the Sapphire Wind Farm in northern New South Wales, the Bomen Solar Farm – also in NSW, and the Lakeland Wind Farm in north Queensland.

One of the company’s more high-profile corporate customers has been the Sydney Opera House, which signed up to long-term contracts through Flow Power – for seven years, with options to extend – as part of its own effort to go 100 per cent renewable.

On PLC, Flow CEO Matthew van der Linden said the school was “showing real leadership” in the renewable energy space.

“Schools are in a great position to take advantage of renewable power from both economic and teaching perspectives, and our partnership with PLC will showcase all that is possible,” van der Linden said.

PLC’s solar install will also feature live energy readings and data to help its students better understand the College’s energy consumption – including how much of the solar generated on-site is shared with the grid.

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Sophie Vorrath

Sophie is editor of One Step Off The Grid and deputy editor of its sister site, Renew Economy.
Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.

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