Solar school

An Albany school, attended by students living across the Mahurangi region, is making solar power a priority in a new sports complex currently being built.

Kristin School took its first steps into solar power generation last year when a bank of eight large panels was installed on the roof of the campus auditorium and wellbeing centre. They generated more than 31,000 kilowatts of energy in 2020 – or about 5 per cent of Kristin’s annual electricity use.

Now, the private school is fundraising to achieve the $140,000 needed for a second bank of solar panels, which will be installed later this year on the “Lightbox” – a new steel-framed structure encased in translucent cladding that will cover and water-proof three sports courts. The new panels are expected to generate a similar amount of power to the first installation.

Three new rainwater tanks, which include an irrigation and pumping system, will also be installed to cut Kristin’s use of mains water.

Executive principal Mark Wilson says the initiatives are part of Kristin’s commitment to putting its environmental and sustainability principles into action.

“Our young people are the most aware and passionate generation about our climate crisis and the need for urgent action. As a school that seeks to ensure our students are ‘future ready’, we need to be leading by example,” he says. “We teach our students all about sustainability, so we want to be walking the talk.”


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