The Queensland Government will begin a market sounding process with the energy industry in April 2017 to to develop innovative ways to reduce state school energy costs using solar and energy efficiency measures.
The market sounding process will involve canvassing advice on funding options, technology solutions, procurement approaches and delivery models for state schools.
Queensland Minister for Education, Kate Jones, said, “We want state schools to be sustainable schools.
“We know Queensland state schools are among the government’s largest energy consumers, spending close to $57 million each year.
“Our schools are already doing their part with more than 1,200 of our 1,239 state schools offsetting energy costs with solar PV systems.”
Ms Jones said “the reality is renewable energy technology has developed significantly in recent years and there is more than can be done to embrace a clean energy future for Queensland schools.”
“Through our Advancing Clean Energy Schools program we will consult with the energy sector to look at how we can best use this new and emerging technology to deliver better and more efficient energy management in our schools,” Ms Jones said.
“Advancing Clean Energy Schools has the potential to save schools millions of dollars in energy cost and significantly reduce greenhouse emissions.”
Queensland Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, said Advancing Clean Energy Schools was a great example of how the Queensland Government was looking to work with the private sector to drive more investment and innovation in clean energy technology.
“This initiative has the potential to support the uptake of renewable energy and deliver real cost reductions for our schools and generate jobs if the project stacks up and can be implemented,” Mr Pitt said.
“The government has received numerous approaches from the private sector through the Market Led Proposal framework and direct to Education Queensland to install solar panels on our schools and energy efficient solutions to manage demand for power, so this is the next step in bringing this project to fruition.
“We know an investment in clean energy is an investment for future generations and that is why we’re looking at partnering with the private sector to deliver projects like this.”
Queensland Minister for Energy, Mark Bailey, said the Queensland Government was committed to transitioning to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
“Advancing Clean Energy Schools will help us achieve our 50 per cent renewable energy target and support our goal to reach one million rooftops or 3000 megawatts of solar in Queensland by 2020,” Mr Bailey said.
“Collectively rooftops across the state make up our second largest power station – our schools can help us turn the Sunshine State into the Solar State.”
The Department of Education and Training will lead Sustainable Schools in partnership with the Department of Energy and Water Supply (DEWS) and Queensland Treasury.
Industry organisations interested in participating in the market sounding can obtain further information at https://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/qtenders/ from 3 April 2017.