St Joseph's Renmark goes solar

The year was 1919; the first of the great wars was coming to a close, the Treaty of Versailles was being established by the newly formed League of Nations and Benito Mussolini - the world’s first fascist dictator - was establishing the groundwork which would ultimately contribute to igniting World War II.

The world was on the brink of entering a period of unstable peace – albeit impermanent. Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, 5 sisters - led by their Community Leader Sister Pius – set out from Adelaide to establish the first Catholic School in the Riverland at Renmark. The school officially opened on March 30th, 1919 to provide education for 111 students in the Renmark area, the Sisters of St Joseph maintained an active presence in the school until 2001. In 1941 a new school was built on Twelfth Street, with transformations to the school taking place in 1984, 1990, 1997, 2001 and 2010.

Today, on the 100th year anniversary of the first school being established, St Joseph’s has solidified itself in the Renmark Community, establishing the foundations of learning for over 250 primary aged school students and providing quality education using modern and effective teaching methods, while embracing new technologies to assist the school in being able to continue providing these services.

Yates Electrical Services recently had the privilege of working with St Joseph’s School in the development of a new 24kW solar installation on the roof of their outdoor gymnasium. The system - consisting of eighty 300W solar panels and expanding on the existing 8kW installation - will assist the school in supporting a cleaner energy future, educating our young generation on the importance of renewable energy technologies and significantly reducing the school’s reliance on energy supplied from the grid.
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“We saw an opportunity where we could expand on our existing 8kW solar installation and really link that into teaching our kids about the environment and the importance of taking care of our planet,” said Donato DePalma, the school’s principal who has held the position since 2010, “being able to teach our kids about sustainability while also reducing our electricity costs and carbon footprint is something we consider a valuable addition to our school.”

Standing proud among the Riverland schools, St Joseph’s continue to uphold excellent educational standards while building a loyal student base over several generations who have cultivated their foundations at the school. Quite a few of the Yates Electrical Services team attended the school - including Mark Yates, the director of the business – many of whom now have young children of their own in attendance.
"There really is a number of prospects which add value to our school through developing a project like this. I think it holds greater meaning to our students as they can actually see the development happening while learning about the environmental benefits."
"On top of that, the reduced cost of electricity allows us to funnel those resources into other areas of the school, further benefitting our children.” said Don.

The system is capable of generating up to 150kWh of electricity generation per day, which will definitely provide significant value to St Joseph’s School. Yates Electrical Services are proud to have had the opportunity to assist St Joseph’s in their vision for working towards a clean energy future.
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About the Author

Patrick is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Yates Electrical Services. When he's not designing stuff and writing stories, he performs as an acoustic soloist and spends time with his beautiful little family.

Patrick also likes long walks on the beach, sewing, and photoshopping himself to look like an Avenger. He really wishes he was an Avenger.