Solar boost for primary school

19:51, Jul 24 2014
timaru geraldine primary school solar panels maggie twaddle andrew leverton gerald pemberton ernie heatlie damon odey
PANEL POWER: Celebrating Geraldine Primary School's new solar panels are, from left, Schoolgen team leader Maggie Twaddle, principal Andrew Leverton, Temuka-Geraldine Rotary Club president Gerald Pemberton, former president Ernie Heatlie and Timaru Mayor Damon Odey.

Geraldine Primary School hopes to harvest thousands of dollars from its new solar power and energy conservation programme.

At a special school assembly yesterday, Rotary Club of Temuka-Geraldine president Gerald Pemberton presented the club's $4500 contribution to a new four-kilowatt array of solar panels.

Following a performance by pupils to introduce the project, Pemberton recalled being a pupil when the school was heated by a coal-fired furnace, and said it was now moving into a new era.

Former principal Lindsay Robertson said an energy conservation drive at the school was also in place, and aimed to save 20 per cent of the school's electricity consumption, which was considerably more than the panels would contribute. Robertson said estimates suggested the school could save up to $2000 annually in electricity bills as a result of the panels.

The school put $2200 towards the solar generators and Genesis Energy gave $4500 as well as additional funds for an inverter, which converts Direct Current (DC) from the photovoltaic panels into Alternating Current (AC).

Genesis Energy's Schoolgen team leader Maggie Twaddle said the school was the fifth in the South Island to take part in the programme.

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