The Dynamis Project "Generating Savings"

Dynamis is an Ancient Greek word meaning "power" or "force" (pronounced "Venamis").

The idea of this project is to utilise schools to demonstrate and test new technologies and to encourage their community to become more self-sufficient.

Supporters of the school apply for grants to cover at least half of the cost of providing solar, wind or water turbines to generate a good percentage of the school's energy requirements. At an agreed level, the school then "borrow" the difference from their own accounts.

Progress list:

  • Maungaraki School 10 kW Solar PV
  • Gracefield School 15 kW Solar PV
  • Naenae Primary School 10 kW Solar PV
  • Gracefield School entire school LED lighting
  • Epuni Primary School entire school LED lighting

Why Schools?

Schools are the centre of most communities, they are not profit-making organisations and the community is more likely to support them, because of the excellent work they do.

Advantages:

  • Schools would then have an on-going means of saving money.
  • Pupils at the school can see, and measure, the power generated by the school and challenge other classes and schools to save power.
  • Enviroschools already lead the way with worm farms, recycling, vegetable gardens - this is going a step further into the future.
  • Teachers can write lesson plans around how this technology is working for the school and at certain levels, pupils can use the on line data for study.
  • When the government wanted to encourage people to wear seat belts in vehicles, they started educating the children, who in turn reminded their parents to buckle up at every opportunity. I feel the most effective way to introduce energy savings in the home is to educate the young ones to take the message home.
  • Many schools are already Civil Defence centres. However, as the Christchurch earthquakes have proved, in a power cut, many do not have the ability to generate their own power. Inverters are now available which can allow this. Most people don't realise even their phone systems will not work in a power cut!
  • Many business are interested in solar and wind technology, but they don't know anyone who uses it. Interested parties can monitor just how effective this technology is, at no risk.
  • This project is long term as it continues to generate savings for 30 years or more.
  • Power prices will continue to rise, making this project more cost-effective.
  • The prices for solar panels have dropped considerably in the last 18 months.
  • Schools are well suited for solar power, as most of their power use is during the day.
  • In future there may be financial advantages in carbon credits.