Sun shines down on school's green dream

GOING green will lead to a huge annual saving for James Sheahan Catholic High School.

The school flicked the switch to 246 solar panels last month, which principal Mark Pauschman estimates will save the school $30,000 annually on its electricity bill.

Mr Pauschman said the idea came about from teacher and student suggestions.

“It’s about stewardship at the school and how we can save resources and reduce energy,” he said.

Stage one of the solar panel system was switched on from January 24, and the second and final stage is due for completion at the end of the Easter holidays.

Once stage two has been installed, Mr Pauschman estimates the panels will provide around 30 per cent of the school’s overall energy needs.

“It’s money we can now put back into the school for resources,” he said.

“It’s also money to get our building plan for a performing arts centre.”

Learning about solar energy also fits into the school’s science and geography curriculum.

“The students will have the opportunity to see how much CO2 [carbon dioxide emissions] we’ll save,” Mr Pauschman said.

He believes the school’s solar power system is the largest in the region,  and is proud of the school’s leading environmental status.

“Quite a few other schools have asked about the [solar] program,” he said.

“We keep teaching that we can’t be part of the problem, we have to be part of the solution.”

The solar system was fully funded by the school.

nadine.morton@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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