WA Labor to power schools with greener energy systems

Posted on February 19, 2021
  • $40 million Schools Clean Energy Technology Fund to install clean energy systems in WA schools
  • Three public schools in both Kalgoorlie and Geraldton to benefit from virtual power plants
  • $4.6 million for the rollout of rooftop solar in an additional 18 Kimberley and 10 Pilbara schools
  • Builds on McGowan Government’s Solar Schools Program to help 30 remote and regional schools

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will fund a $44.6 million Schools Clean Energy Technology package, which will go towards the installation of new energy technologies in public schools including rooftop solar systems.

These two initiatives will support local businesses and are expected to create around 80 jobs through local procurement and installation of these clean energy technologies.

The $40 million Schools Clean Energy Technology Fund will be established to provide grants to public schools for the installation of new technologies that will reduce energy costs and lower carbon emissions. 

As identified in the McGowan Government’s Distributed Energy Roadmap some schools will be better suited to clean technologies like energy efficient lighting and energy efficient building improvements, and others will be suitable for rooftop solar systems and virtual power plants.  

The fund means schools will be able to develop solutions to meet their specific needs.

To enable the widest range of schools to benefit from the Schools Clean Energy Technology Fund schools will be able to apply for the tier of funding appropriate to their requirements.

The highest tier will allow for a virtual power plant if that is identified as the most suitable clean energy solution, and the second tier will provide up to $500,000 to install clean energy technologies.

From the fund, three WA public schools in Kalgoorlie and three in Geraldton will have virtual power plants installed.

The Goldfields and the Midwest regions are at the end of the energy grid and are impacted by network limitations.

Using a combination of solar and batteries these virtual power plants will not only bring down costs for the schools but will also help stabilise the energy network.

The Solar Schools project will also be expanded in the North West regions ensuring rooftop solar systems for 18 schools in the Kimberley and 10 schools in the Pilbara. 

This program of work builds on the McGowan Labor Government’s Solar Schools Program which is benefitting 30 regional public schools throughout WA and has created 12 new full-time jobs during the 18-month construction period.

Pilbara schools for Solar Schools Program

  1. Cassia Education Support Centre
  2. Dampier Primary School
  3. Jigalong Remote Community School
  4. Marble Bar Primary School
  5. Newman Primary School
  6. Newman Senior High School
  7. Nullagine Primary School
  8. Port Hedland School Of The Air
  9. South Newman Primary School
  10. Wickham Primary School

Kimberley schools for Solar Schools Program

  1. Bayulu Remote Community School
  2. Broome North Primary School
  3. Broome Primary School
  4. Broome Residential College
  5. Broome Senior High School
  6. Bundja Wulan Nunga Aboriginal Preschool
  7. Cable Beach Primary School
  8. Dawul Remote Community School
  9. Djugerari Remote Community School
  10. Fitzroy Valley District High School
  11. Jungdranung Remote Community School
  12. Kimberley School of The Air
  13. La Grange Remote Community School
  14. Muludja Remote Community School
  15. Ngalapita Remote Community School
  16. Roebuck Primary School
  17. Wananami Remote Community School
  18. Wangkatjungka Remote Community School

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“Energy is one of the major costs for our schools and we’re committed to bringing down those costs in ways that make sense and don’t push up costs for other users of our electricity network.

“Rooftop solar and virtual power plants will not only help schools save on their bills, they also teach students about how to be more energy efficient and their contribution to keeping the environment cleaner.

“This is another important piece of the State’s transition towards a low carbon future.”

Media contact: Lannie Le-Patterson 0419 698 504


  • New announcement in addition to the $5 million program, announced in September 2020, to provide rooftop solar systems to 30 regional public schools across WA

Participating schools from the first phase of Solar Schools Program:

  • Baler Primary School
  • Baynton West Primary School
  • Cascade Primary School
  • Cassia Primary School
  • Castletown Primary School
  • Condingup Primary School
  • Derby District High School
  • Esperance Primary School
  • Esperance Senior High School
  • Halls Creek District High School
  • Hedland Senior High School
  • Karratha Primary School
  • Karratha Senior High School
  • Laverton School
  • Leonora District High School
  • Looma Remote Community School
  • Meekatharra District High School
  • Millars Well Primary School
  • Munglinup Primary School
  • Norseman District High School
  • Nulsen Primary School
  • One Arm Point Remote Community School
  • Pegs Creek Primary School
  • Port Hedland Primary School
  • Salmon Gums Primary School
  • Scaddan Primary School
  • South Hedland Primary School
  • Tambrey Primary School
  • Wiluna Remote Community School
  • Wyndham District High School