The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, and the Parliamentary Secretary, Mark Dreyfus announces $51 million funds in Federal Government grants to make Australian schools more energy efficient.

About 1,226 schools would benefit after receiving grants of up to $50,000 each under the Australian Government’s $420 million National Solar Schools Program.

This announcement of the successful grant recipients of the 2010-11 funding round was done by Mr Greg Combet when he visited West Wallsend High School. West Wallsend High School will receive $50,000 to install a 10 kilowatt solar power system and light switch sensors.

“This program shows that schools are getting smarter about their energy use and water conservation and it gives students the opportunity to experience renewable energy generation first-hand,” Mr Combet said.

At Ascot Vale West Primary School in Victoria Mr Dreyfus, said more than 2,600 schools across the nation have already been allocated funding under the National Solar Schools Program and 93 per cent of these projects include solar power systems.

Mr Dreyfus said, “This equates to approximately 11 megawatts of solar power – the equivalent of meeting the electricity needs of around 2,400 average households every day.”

 To install solar and other renewable power systems, rainwater tanks and to help implement a range of energy efficiency measures, The grants of up to $50,000, $100,000 for multi-campus schools have been awarded to primary and secondary schools.

The schools were asked to demonstrate value for money, as well as environmental and educational benefits to get approve their application. The Applications were assessed using merit-based criteria. Applicants that were not successful in this round will be eligible to re-apply in future rounds.

This program will run over seven-year until 30 June 2015, also drives long-term growth in clean technology and jobs growth.

For detailed information about the National Solar Schools Program including a list of successful grant recipients, visit the website of  Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.