Aerial view of Ballarat Grammar.

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Developing and implementing a cost-effective Sustainability Roadmap to carbon neutrality

Frustrated by a lack of action on climate change, students at Ballarat Grammar called on their school to become more sustainable.

Ballarat Grammar approached RACV for help in launching an ambitious project for such a large school. Drawing on our unique expertise in Sustainability Consulting, we developed a 3-step plan:

  1. We calculated the annual carbon emissions for the school (2,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, combined from electricity, gas and vehicle fuel consumption).
  2. We conducted a detailed assessment of the buildings, their rooftops, structural engineering constraints, future construction plans, and electrical infrastructure across the site’s 8 electricity meters.
  3. Using 3D modelling, the site’s survey results and methods to maximise federal rebates for each installation, we developed a practical and cost-effective plan to advance their goal of becoming carbon neutral.

As a result of the Sustainability Roadmap, Ballarat Grammar has implemented solar systems across seven locations (and counting), totaling 487kW and greatly reducing their carbon footprint:

  • Wendouree Performing Arts Centre – 100 kW
  • Centennial Building – 90 kW
  • Centre for Early Education 35 kW
  • Dining Hall – 35 kW
  • Beckworth – 70 kW
  • Heinz Expansion – 46 kW
  • Year 5/6 Building – 111 kW

Ballarat Grammar has now reduced its net carbon emissions by approximately 30% compared to when it started its journey in 2019.

Spotlight: Installation at Wendouree Performing Arts Centre

An examination of the site features, rooftops and satellite imagery confirmed the roof area is viable for installation of solar panels. It also highlighted several areas which were slightly impacted by shading from nearby roof top objects.

Using our 3D modelling software, we generated an Irradiance Map, which factors roof angles, orientations and heights of all nearby objects to determine the optimal panel positioning.

To maximise output on a space-constrained site, we opted for high efficiency commercial solar PV modules to enable highest solar yield per square metre at a competitive price.

"RACV Solar offers high quality services and we have always been satisfied by their quality of workmanship and professionalism whilst on site. During their time on site they worked safely amongst students, teachers and parents always being aware of noise and working safely at heights."

- Wayne Dunn, Operations Manager, Ballarat Grammar

Key numbers – Wendouree Performing Arts Centre*

System capacity

92.6 kW

Energy production

122,260 kWh

Carbon savings

136.93 tonnes p.a.


6 years / 16%

Year 1 savings


More commercial solar projects

*The statistics for RACV Solar customers have been calculated based on the following assumptions: the site's prior electricity consumption and tariffs, 3D modelling software for commercial and complicated residential sites (identifying shade/structures that impact performance), local sunlight irradiance and climate data, Victorian grid electricity emissions intensity factor of 1.12 kg CO2 eq / kWh, and average home system size in Victoria.