Catholic Education Townsville

5MW PV + 8MWh Tesla Battery Storage

Work has began on 27 schools for Townsville Catholic Education. This is an incredibly exciting project which will take all Catholic Schools in Townsville to 100% renewable energy by utilising 5MW of solar pv and 8MW of battery storage across the sites.

 Press release by Jack Hooper CEO:

After a comprehensive tender process lasting over a year, we’re excited to announce that we’ve been selected to deliver a ground-breaking project for the Townsville Catholic Education Office. The project will consist of just under 8MWh of Tesla battery storage and 5.1MW of solar PV, a 10 year partnership across 27 sites and a total project value exceeding $20m.

The Townsville Diocese aims to procure 100% of their energy from renewable sources with a mix of behind-the-meter generation and storage, and through an off-take agreement with a renewable generator for their remaining balance of energy from the grid. Tesla batteries with control equipment will also be installed, to operate as a virtual power plant with FCAS market participation from late 2020, creating a significant ongoing revenue stream. By utilising these FCAS revenues some schools are realising payback periods of under 5 years.

This holistic strategy effectively hedges electricity costs for at least the next 10 years but more crucially, it will help break important environmental milestones. Rethinking how energy is generated and procured shows real commitment to the messages in Laudato Si’, a key Catholic belief of a broader commitment to caring for our common home.

In 2017 the Townsville Catholic Diocese received praise for their phase 1 solar scheme directly from the Vatican. This next phase cements their position as national leaders in this space.

GEM Energy were one of the first private companies to voluntarily release a Modern Slavery Statement under the Federal Modern Slavery Act 2019. Managing the risks of modern slavery in the business and project delivery formed a key part of our tender – we were clearly able to demonstrate our management of our modern slavery obligations right through our supply chain.

From a personal point of view, it’s great to see organisations making decisions like this despite a global pandemic. As we have continued to do over the last few months, we’re confident of delivering this project safely and successfully through COVID-19.

A large part of this project incorporates our Regional Development Initiative as we commit to delivering the project using local electrical companies. These companies will be trained and supported by our engineering and electrical team in our Brisbane office, and will be awarded a 10 year service contract with each of their installations. Most importantly, it will lead to job creation and job security in regional Queensland.

We can’t wait to get this project under way.

Read the One Step Off The Grid Article Here!

Project Details

Location: Townsville, QLD

Watch this space for completion images!

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