Advancing Clean Energy Schools Program, Queensland, Australia

To power its education sector from renewable energy sources

  • Aurecon’s role: Programme management, future energy, contract administration
  • Client: Queensland Government – Department of Education

Aurecon is working with the Queensland Government to reduce energy costs across its state schools as technical advisor to the Advancing Clean Energy Schools Program.

The Advancing Clean Energy Schools Program in Queensland will reduce energy costs for a significant number of state schools as a targeted initiative to power its education sector from renewable energy sources.

Queensland’s Department of Education is investing AUD97 million over a period of three years to reduce energy costs for state schools by installing solar systems and energy efficiency measures. In February 2020, the Queensland Government committed a further AUD71.1 million over three years, from 2020-21, to expand solar installations under the Cooler Cleaner Schools Program. The additional funding will assist in offsetting the energy needs of an expanded fleet of air conditioners in state schools.

Aurecon supported the early stages of the Advancing Clean Energy for Schools Program as the technical advisor.

Becoming energy ready

The program is implemented in phases. Energy costs reduce through installing on-site solar systems and introducing energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting.

During the Advancing Clean Energy Schools Program, more than 800 state schools across the Department of Education’s seven education regions undergo site assessment to identify energy saving measures. Solutions are defined for each individual school that delivers energy cost reductions.

As a technical advisor, Aurecon assisted the Department of Education during the procurement process to select lead contractors to design, supply, install, operate and maintain the solar and energy efficiency installations under the program.

The program management team:

  • Evaluated supplier project plans, schedule and budgets
  • Ensured that suppliers provided local employment opportunities during the contracts while ensuring they had the relevant experience and capability
  • Reviewed the technical capability of suppliers based on relevant experience and proposed equipment
  • Provided insights into the validity of ongoing operations and maintenance plans provided by suppliers as part of their tender
  • Reviewed the proposed measurement and verification plans from suppliers
  • Coordinated the works with the individual schools and program stakeholders

Suppliers were selected based on their overall capability and reliably to deliver the safe and timely implementation of solar and energy efficiency measures at schools, this included the unique aspects of some sites, for example in cyclone-prone areas.

Delivering this program for the next generation

As one of the Queensland Government’s largest energy consumers, state schools spend more than $71 million each year on electricity.

The Advancing Clean Energy Schools Program is an important part of reducing the State’s energy costs by sourcing renewable energy and helping schools transition towards a more sustainable energy footprint. Once the program is fully rolled out, it’s expected to deliver a reduction in state school energy costs of up to 20 per cent.

The Program includes up to 35MW of solar photovoltaic systems and the additional funding through the Cooler Cleaner Schools Program will install a further 26MW of solar photovoltaic systems, helping the Queensland Government’s target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

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