Dapto High School officially opened its Solar Power Data Centre on Tuesday as part of its World Environment Day celebrations.
An e-charging station for cycles, sco
+oters, skateboarders and cars is also on the horizon for the school, which prides itself on responding energetically to the “challenges of the climate change crisis”.
Dapto HS principal Andrew FitzSimons said the time for talk was over and he was already thinking about how the school could celebrate World Environment Day in 2019.
He added the transition to solar, which has resulted in 60 per cent of the school’s daily electrical energy use coming from the sun, was part of a serious effort by students, staff and the community to respond to the climate change crisis.
“A ‘green group’ of student leaders focusing on environmental issues recently started. Together we will push towards introducing other measures which will help the environment,” Mr FitzSimons said.
Former Dapto HS student Susan Alexander, who collaborated with the principal to install solar panels on the school’s roof, said Mr FitzSimons was a “doer” when it came to environmental issues.
“A lot of teachers do environmental awareness. What Andrew has done is environmental action,” Mrs Alexander said.
“He saw there was a problem. He saw that the school's electricity bill was huge and the students were learning in 39 degree temperature rooms.
“So he devised a plan and followed it through and took action and made it happen, all within the space of a year.
“Today will make a difference on the way children think and they will see they can actually take action themselves, because it has been demonstrated here at Dapto High.”
Student and green team member Ethan Graham agreed with his principal that more was needed.
“The transition to solar is a good start but we can and will do more,” he said.
Notable initiatives include the Hivve classroom installed in the school farm earlier in 2018.
“This remarkable, highly insulated portable building has 8+ KWh capacity on the roof, heats and lights itself, monitors CO2 and dust particles and exports power to the rest of the school,” Mr FitzSimons said.
Other initiatives include:
- A TESLA Powerwall 2 has been installed on the Hivve.
- Solar film has been attached to most northern and western windows.
- Over 110,000 litres of water is collected in 8 tanks around the school. Our first option when watering the gardens.