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Department of Education

Advancing Clean Energy Schools (ACES) Program

The Department of Education's Advancing Clean Energy Schools (ACES) program is a $97 million investment over three years to reduce energy costs across Queensland state schools through solar and energy efficiency measures.

The Queensland Government is committed to a clean energy future and the ACES program is one strategy that will help contribute to the State's renewable energy targets.

While 1,200 of Queensland's 1,240 state schools already offset energy costs with small solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and other energy efficiency strategies, advice from the energy industry in 2017 confirmed that a portion of state school energy costs could be further reduced through the installation of additional solar systems and energy efficiency systems tailored for individual site conditions.

The ACES program investment will support implementation of initiatives across more than 800 of Queensland's 1,240 state schools over three years. The selection of schools is based on the potential for solar and energy efficiency measures to reduce energy costs and provide an economic return on investment.

The department will retain the energy cost savings to support a similar energy reduction program across the remaining 400 (approximately) Queensland state schools, as well as other education priorities.

The ACES program will be implemented over three years, with phase one expected to commence with up to 30 state schools in each of the department's seven regions during the December/January school holidays. Phases two and three will occur during 2019/20 and 2020/21.

Under the ACES program, schools may receive solar systems and energy efficiency measures, such as LED lighting and timers on hot water systems to promote both energy efficiency and energy savings.

Before any measures are installed in schools, successful contractors will conduct assessments of school sites to determine if solar or energy efficiency solutions can reduce energy costs. The details of what will be required at each school will not be known until site assessments are completed.

On 20 July 2018, the department commenced a procurement process to select lead partners to design, supply, install, operate and maintain solar and energy efficiency measures for the ACES program.

More information about the procurement process can be found at the Queensland Government QTenders website.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs for Schools

What will my school get?

Due to the differences between Queensland's schools (size, location, topography, buildings), the energy initiatives for each school will be assessed and recommended on a school-by-school basis. Energy efficiency measures will vary across schools and may include solar panels, LED lighting and timers on hot water systems and other measures.

Individual site assessments will be required prior to determining the solutions that will best deliver a reduction in energy costs for schools across Queensland.

Do all state schools need new solar systems?

Almost all of Queensland's state schools already have some solar panels installed. Since these systems were fitted, technology costs have reduced significantly and so there is potential to further reduce energy costs through the installation of the latest solar technology. Some schools may not require new solar systems, depending on the findings of site assessments.

Energy efficiency technologies and solutions have also become more advanced over time and there is potential to use a number of different energy efficiency measures to help reduce energy costs. Individual site assessments will identify solutions that will best deliver a reduction in energy costs for schools across Queensland.

How can I find out when my school will participate?

The ACES program is being rolled out over three years. The department will contact schools directly to confirm when they will participate in the program. Schools do not need to apply to be part of the program.

How will schools be prioritised during the program rollout?

Priority will be given to schools based on a range of factors, including the potential for a return on investment, current levels of energy use, student numbers and site conditions.

How will the savings be used?

Savings made through the reduction of school energy costs will be retained by the department and used to support the full implementation of the program and support other education priorities.

How is the ACES program being funded?

The ACES program is self-funded using savings made from the reduction of school energy costs. Long term savings will go towards supporting other programs and services provided by the department.

How long is the ACES program?

The program is phased over three years.

I am concerned about work being done during school hours and disrupting my school. Can you provide me with some assurance on this?

The programming of work at each school will be scheduled and prioritised according to a number of factors, including school operational priorities, other infrastructure works, logistics, site conditions and supplier availability.

All efforts will be made to minimise disruption to schools through close liaison with school staff and community.

FAQs for Industry

What will be delivered under this program?

Under a Prequalified Panel (PQP) partners with the capability and capacity will deliver solar systems, energy efficiency measures to reduce energy costs state schools across Queensland.

Selected partners will be responsible for:

How is the prequalification panel structured?

The department is seeking to appoint prequalified partners across the seven departmental regions. Selected partners will be engaged under a Prequalified Supplier Deed.

How does the shortlisting process work?

The evaluation process is outlined in the Invitation to Offer (ITO) document available on QTenders.

How do I know if my particular energy efficiency technology or solution falls within the scope of the ACES project?

The department will consider all technologies and solutions that meet the project objectives as outlined in the ITO documentation available on QTenders.

My organisation is already doing energy efficiency related work for the Department. Will that work be affected by the ACES program?

All currently contracted works will continue.

What is the timeframe to deliver this program?

Implementation of the program will be phased over three years.

How can I lodge my proposal/offer?

Use QTenders to submit all proposals and to keep up to date with further communication.

When does the tender close?

The tender closes on 17 August 2018.

Examples of solar panels installed on Queensland state schools throughout the state

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This page was last reviewed on 20 Jul 2018 at 09:01AM

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