Labor to invest $70 million to help schools go solar

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A Foley Labor Government will invest $70 million to install solar panels in all public schools in NSW – to help our schools become more energy efficient and generate clean, renewable solar power.

Under Labor’s Solar Schools policy, up to 1,700 schools without solar power will receive around $40,000 for a solar photovoltaic power system.

Schools will be able to reduce power bills by using the free, clean energy from these solar power systems, relying less on the power grid.

This initiative will support the renewable energy sector and lower our schools’ carbon footprint, teach kids about environmental sustainability and show that we can all reduce our impact on the environment.

Funding for Solar Schools will come from Labor’s A Better Way infrastructure program, and will be delivered without privatising the electricity network.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley:

“Protecting our precious environment will be one of the key priorities of a Labor Government.

“In Government, Labor added sustainability to the NSW syllabus, and we will take it even further by helping our schools become more sustainable with solar power systems.

“This is part of Labor’s new approach to education. We will build the schools of the future with modern facilities – including integrating renewable energy to lower our schools’ carbon footprint.

“This is a plan that will bring together Labor’s commitment to education, environmental sustainability and creating jobs in the growing renewable energy sector.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Education Ryan Park:

“Labor has a strong history of supporting environmental sustainability and this $70 million initiative will build upon our record.

“Our kids will learn about renewable energy, schools will have lower power bills and do their bit to tackle climate change – it’s a win all-round.

Key Facts:

  • In government, Labor introduced sustainability into teaching and learning programs in NSW schools and established the NSW Sustainable Schools Program in 2003 to help schools to teach environmental education.
  • In 2008, the Federal Government began a National Solar Schools Program, which was a broad based sustainability program offering grants to schools to install solar power systems and a range of energy efficiency and water saving measures. More than 500 NSW schools installed solar power systems.
  • However, the Abbott Government quietly discontinued the program last year, with no funding allocated in their slash and burn budget.