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Genesis Energy brings solar power to schools

Genesis Energy brings solar power to schools

Genesis Energy today launched ‘Schoolgen’, an initiative designed to bring the concepts of renewable energy to life for primary and secondary school students in New Zealand.

The pilot school for the Schoolgen project, Westlake Girls’ High School in Takapuna has had twelve photovoltaic (PV) panels with a combined output of 2kW installed on the roof of the science block. The panels generate electricity from the energy of the sun and a display screen in the school’s art block shows students how much electricity has been generated over a daily, monthly and yearly basis.

Genesis Energy is conscious of the benefits of using the energy of the sun in providing natural energy for homes and schools.

“Genesis Energy is committed to research into alternative technologies to generate electricity,” says Murray Jackson Chief Executive Genesis Energy. “As part of our Climate Change Strategy, we are continually working on ways to generate electricity from renewable resources and Schoolgen is a fine example of this.”

Schoolgen aims to save energy costs for the school, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing an educational opportunity for students, teachers, parents and the wider community to learn about renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change.

In 2006/2007 Schoolgen will be rolled out to a further five schools in the greater Auckland area. Genesis Energy aims to introduce the programme to schools in other parts of the country in the coming years. To be eligible for Schoolgen, a school must be a public school, a customer of Genesis Energy and a member of Enviroschools Foundation, a charitable trust that provides support and strategic direction for a nationwide environmental education programme (www.enviroschools.org.nz).

A Schoolgen website is being developed which will display information about the amount of electricity generated at each Schoolgen site. To support the educational objectives of the project, teaching resources have been developed which teachers will be able to download from the website. The website is scheduled to be fully operational by the start of the 2007 school year.

Schoolgen is supported by the Ministry for the Environment’s Sustainable Management Fund.

Ends

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