School solar panels are set to save Queensland $10 million a year.
School solar panels are set to save Queensland $10 million a year. Trevor Veale/ The

Gympie region schools in solar revolution to save millions

GYMPIE region schools from Tin Can Bay to Imbil are part of a $97 million solar power plan which aims to save the state government more than $10 million a year.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the program would pay for itself in huge savings and would be "great for the environment.”

The 11 schools involved are Chatsworth, Gympie Central, Gympie East, Gympie South, Gympie West. Jones Hill, One Mile and Tin Can Bay state primary schools, Gympie and James Nash high schools and Mary Valley state college.

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington welcomed the announcement but said the government may not be giving a high enough priority to air conditioning.

"We all know that when kids are sweltering, they struggle to learn effectively. This is about priorities,” she said.

Ms Grace said state schools were among the government's largest energy users, with an annual power bill of $50 million. Schools would be selected on energy consumption, enrolments and supplier availability with a tender process favouring local suppliers.