Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace
More than 18,400 solar panels have been installed at state schools across the Far North to help slash electricity costs and cut carbon emissions.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the Advancing Clean Energy Schools (ACES) program was expanded in February 2022 and had exceeded targets to deliver more panels at more schools than originally planned.
“The completion of the $168 million ACES program is a testament to the Palaszczuk Government’s strong focus on creating good jobs and better services to enhance our great Queensland lifestyle,” Ms Grace said.
“I am particularly proud that we exceeded our original target of 180,000 panels at 872 schools and have instead delivered 200,000 panels at 912 schools.
“This equates to a $26 million saving on energy bills every single year and is enough renewable energy to power 25,000 homes – that’s more than all the households in the Gladstone region.
“The ACES program also supported about 1,000 jobs and kept Queenslanders working through the height of the pandemic.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the program was good news for schools, our environment, and great news for the Palaszczuk Government’s renewable energy target.
“ACES is making a significant contribution to the Palaszczuk Government’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030, with the 200,000 solar panels on state school rooftops expected to generate an average of 280MW of electricity per day,” Mr Healy said.
Speaker of Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the 18,400 panels in the Far North alone can generate around 26,700 kW of electricity every day.
“This is another example of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to delivering state-of-the-art facilities to our world-class schools and ensure a bright future for our children by taking action on climate change,” Mr Pitt said.
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the completion of the ACES program follows the Palaszczuk Government’s delivery of air conditioning for every classroom, staff room and library in Queensland state schools.
“In April, our government announced the completion of the $477 million Cooler Cleaner Schools Program in time for staff and students to enjoy air conditioning in every Queensland state school for the start of Term 2,” Ms Lui said.
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the Palaszczuk Government’s program was delivered two months ahead of schedule and six years ahead of the LNP’s proposal.
“Now the ACES program is complete, the solar panels we have delivered for more than 900 Queensland schools are helping to offset the added electricity costs of air conditioning,” Mr Crawford said.
Redlynch State College had 1156 solar panels installed which will offset the costs of air conditioning and other energy costs in a $830,000 investment.
Principal Maurice Andrejic, said the school is delighted with their new solar panels, which can generate an average of 1,600 kW of electricity every day.
"The ACES program will undoubtedly deliver great savings to our College so we can spend more on delivering outcomes for students,” Mr Andrejic said.
“This is a great Queensland Government investment. Redlynch State College prides itself on being a sustainable school.
“We can now show the community that clean and affordable energy benefits everyone, and anyone can get involved in the use of solar panels.”
Minister Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to providing quality facilities to schools right across Queensland.
“In the 2022–23 budget alone, we are delivering an overall infrastructure investment portfolio valued at nearly $2 billion, driving the Queensland economy by supporting nearly 4200 jobs,” Ms Grace said.
Footage of Minister Grace speaking about this in parliament will be available available at https://tv.parliament.qld.gov.au/
Media contact: Kate Talbot 0439 803 211