Dapto HS’ move to renewable energy gets a partnership boost

PARTNERSHIP: Former Dapto High School student Tiffany Temminck and now an employee at Energy Developments, student Ethan Graham, Peter Johnson, Andrew Fitzsimons, James Harman and Molly Chapman. Picture: Sylvia Liber.
PARTNERSHIP: Former Dapto High School student Tiffany Temminck and now an employee at Energy Developments, student Ethan Graham, Peter Johnson, Andrew Fitzsimons, James Harman and Molly Chapman. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

The increased use of solar energy at Dapto High School is the main aim.

But the school’s partnership with Energy Developments (EDL) started through a shared vision to increase awareness among young women to develop a career in non-traditional trade roles in mechanical, electrical and across the STEM subject areas.

On Thursday this successful union saw the company contribute $25,000 to Dapto High’s project to install solar panels and transfer the school’s energy use to a renewables position.

“This highlights the important role of renewable energy and aligns with our overall corporate approach as a reliable, affordable and sustainable supplier of energy,” Energy Developments CEO James Harman said.

“We are looking to the future - we have a role in the world’s long-term energy mix and we have a role in the long-term future of our neighbouring communities.

“Our people are critical to that and by working with the school we hope to continue to provide employment opportunities for young women and men through our apprenticeship program and beyond.”

Dapto HS principal Andrew Fitzsimons said Energy Developments had made a significant contribution towards the solar panels, providing nearly 70 per cent of the required contribution to total costs.

“Our 400 solar panels are expected to reduce school operating costs by $20,000 - $25,000 annually; avoiding nearly 100 tonnes of carbon being released in the process,” he said.

Dapto HS senior student mentor Peter Johnson added the ‘Partnership for Sustainability and Diversity’ project had its genesis a few years ago when a senior female student sought assistance from staff to forge a career in mechanics.

EDL gave her an apprenticeship and over the years has gone on to employ other young female apprentices from Dapto HS.

Mr Harman added EDL was committed to working in partnership with employees, communities and customers to deliver sustainable solutions to address community need.

“EDL is committed to the creation of a diverse workforce which includes our apprenticeship program and we are delighted that a number of students from Dapto High have joined this program at our nearby National Maintenance Facility,” he said.

“Members of my team have always enjoyed the opportunity to present to Dapto High students and host students at our facility.

“It is very positive to see the number of girls interested in non-traditional roles and, more broadly, in STEM.”