Canberra’s New Zero Emissions School To Open In 2021

The ACT Government has announced the builder of the Territory’s second zero-emissions school and says detailed design work for construction has already begun.

Construction of the new school in Molonglo Valley is expected to start this year to be ready for operation for the start of the 2021 school year. Molonglo Valley is the development of a greenfield in the ACT that is expected to accommodate approximately 55,000 residents over the coming decades

The school will incorporate various energy efficiency technologies in addition to the use of onsite generation of renewables, assumed to include solar energy, to support the ACT’s target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. There will certainly be plenty of roof space to accommodate solar panels, so it will be interesting to see how much capacity is installed.

“The ACT is leading the nation in climate action and school infrastructure is one way that the government can make a big difference towards reducing carbon emissions on behalf of the Canberra community,” said part of a statement attributed to Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry MLA.

All 88 public schools in the Territory have rooftop solar panels, totaling 2.356MW of capacity; so that averages out to around 27kW each. While the total capacity is not enough to supply equivalent electricity requirements of all schools, the Territory’s Government has a target of sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020 from within its boundaries or the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The ACT’s first zero-emissions school was Margaret Hendry School in the suburb of Taylor. Among its features is a 100kW solar power system and electric-boosted solar hot water.