November 2 (Solar) – Australia's first solar-and-battery-powered portable classroom is being trialled in Queensland, at Bracken Ridge State High School in Brisbane, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said on Thursday.
The classroom is part of a pilot, under which ARENA provided AUD 370,000 (USD 267,000/EUR 233,000) to Hivve Technologies Pty Ltd to build three portable renewable classrooms. The company previously installed solar-powered classrooms in two schools in New South Wales.
The Brisbane classroom has been developed in partnership with Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and can operate completely off the grid. It includes rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels and a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery system. The Hivve classrooms produce enough electricity to meet their own demand and that of at least two other classrooms in a school and can now store surplus power in a connected battery.
ARENA chief executive Darren Miller said the concept is both sustainable and self-sufficient and allows schools to save on upfront grid connection as well as ongoing energy costs. According to him, there is a great opportunity to power classrooms via solar and batteries as schools need energy during the day, when the sun is shining.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.723/EUR 0.632)