Harnessing the Sun: The Benefits of Solar Panels at Santa Maria College

Solar panels on the roof of McDonald Building at Santa Maria College

Solar power is more than just an alternative energy source; it is our commitment to stewardship and financial sustainability.

Over the summer holidays, 664 solar panels were installed on the Mercy and McDonald Buildings. The College has installed a 332kW system with the panels and three 100kW inverters to harness the sun’s energy.

The installation of the solar panels links to our Financial Sustainability pillar in the College’s Strategic Plan and ties closely with points 5.4 Review and develop a plan for the use of College facilities and 5.5 Deepen our commitment to sustainability of the environment

The solar panel installation has enabled us to offset our impact on the environment while also facilitating the heating of our pool and allowing its use all year round. The panels have enabled the heating of the College pool via heat pumps and will offset the electricity used. 

Tim Stewart, Director of Corporate Services said, “The objective of installing the solar panels was to reduce the College’s electricity curve throughout the day and take advantage of the north-facing aspect of our buildings. We are very fortunate that the panel’s efficiencies are not impacted by any shading throughout the day, nor do they impact on our neighbours surrounding the grounds.”

Upon completion of the Cultural Centre, the College will again look to install a similar-sized solar system on the new building to help lessen its environmental impact.

Implementing solar panels at Santa Maria College aligns perfectly with our Strategic Plan’s pillar of Financial Sustainability. By doing so, we are not only reducing our environmental impact but also educating our students about the importance of sustainability. Furthermore, the financial benefits of solar power will enable us to provide a better learning environment for our students. It is a win-win situation!

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