“The outcome from EnviroGroup was as good as their promise.” – Brendan Millar, FWPS Principal

Sustainability is an important part of learning and daily life at Footscray West Primary School (FWPS). The principal of the school, Brendan Millar is a solar enthusiast and after many years of advocating for rooftop solar for the school, the vision was made a reality.

System details:

  • 58.4kW Solar System
  • 146 x Trina 400W Vertex S Panels
  • 1 x Fronius 25kW ECO + 1 x Fronius 27kW ECO Inverters
  • Fixing: Clenergy 10 degree tilt mount racking system
  • Monitoring: Solar Analytics Production + Consumption Monitoring

Energy challenges for Footscray West Primary School (FWPS)

With energy prices rising, going solar was a no-brainer for FWPS.

But schools are busy places and in order to make solar a priority, Brendan called in assistance from Parent & School Council Member, Jessica Elliot and the school’s Business Manager, Sandra Campbell.

The need to become a solar powered school

footscray west primary solar

“Schools are the perfect use cases for rooftop solar. They have large footprints with exposure to the sun and consume most of their electricity in daylight hours. With a respectable ROI period, it was an easy investment decision for the school.” – Jessica Elliott, Parent & School Council Member

With solar, the objective for FWPS was two-fold. There was of course the financial element, which enables long-term savings to be redirected to meaningful initiatives for the school and its students. The other objective was to become a consumer of green energy and model living a sustainable life for its students and community.

“It’s a real win-win.” – Brendan Millar, Principal

Sandra Campbell was key in enabling the school to access much needed funding to tackle a solar installation project. Jessica Elliot was then nominated as the project manager to take the installation to completion.

EnviroGroup: The preferred choice

To start the process, Jessica brought in Renew, a not-for-profit member-based association that promotes sustainable living.

Renew analysed the school’s historical energy consumption, its objectives, budget and provided a recommendation on system sizing, design and components.

Being a reputable provider, EnviroGroup was one of five solar businesses invited by FWPS to provide a proposal.

Choosing a local business was a key consideration for FWPS and ultimately, EnviroGroup was chosen as the preferred solar installer.

will copeland fwps

“We were impressed by EnviroGroup’s considered proposal, understanding of our needs and requirements (including those of the Victorian School Building Authority). We had a positive experience with the EnviroGroup team’s site visits and proposal refinement, we valued their transparency and felt EnviroGroup would make ideal partners for our solar project.” – Jessica Elliott, Parent & School Council Member

Two-week solar installation

fwps rooftop solar

The preference for FWPS was to get the installation done during a term break. Students are naturally curious so to ensure the safety of both the students and the installers, we arranged to complete the installation within the final 2 weeks of the January school break.

“We had a very positive experience with EnviroGroup. Their realistic outlook and careful communication made the solar installation process seamless.” – Brendan Millar, Principal

Future outlook for Footscray West Primary School

FWPS is looking forward to integrating solar analytics into its sustainability program and being able to quantify the benefits.

“We spend $30,000 electricity per year and with energy prices on the way up, without green energy available, our future energy bills will be phenomenal.” – Brendan Millar, Principal

Brendan would ultimately like to see rooftop solar being embedded into the school’s ethos. School captains may be required to report on the progress in assemblies, teachers will have the solar generation statistics on screens in classrooms and so on.

The school is very much looking forward to seeing the solar generation, consumption and feed in during the summer months when there is more daylight and the greatest benefit.

“Seeing the students excited about the solar being installed, showing them how it works and the amount of energy we are saving was worth every penny the school spent along with the grant we received. We are already seeing the results of having solar with the reduction in our electricity bills.” – Sandra Campbell, Business Manager

fwps school captains talk about solar

“While we’re at school, it’s nice to see it all happen.” – Annamai Wells, School Captain

“Over time, solar panels will save money for our school and it is also something good for our planet.” – Fletcher Bodman, School Captain


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