Timeline for Schoolgen

This years solar progress

Photovoltaic installations have accelerated under the Schoolgen Programme in 2014 - please see the solar in schools progress here.

Celebrating 50 Schools in 2013!

In June 2013 Whangarei Heads Primary School, became the 50th school to join Genesis Energy's Schoolgen Programme. The 2 kilowatt solar array that the school has received from Genesis Energy generates on-site electricity in a silent and non-polluting way using only the sun’s energy.  This contributes to the schools energy requirements, helping to run all of the appliances and gadgets while reducing electricity bills by at least $600 per year.

Whangarei Heads Primary School was built in 1858, and is one of the oldest schools in New Zealand. Nearly a generation of students passed through it's corridors and classrooms before the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, and the incandescent light-bulb in the following year by Thomas Edison. Thirty years after the commencement of education at Whangarei Heads Primary School, the wealthy gold-rush town of Reefton, in 1888, became the first New Zealand town to gain an electricity supply to run its electric-arc street lamps.

One can only imagine the amazement of the teachers and students in those early days if they could have experienced the electrical technologies we now take for granted in the classroom or home- light and heat at the flick of a switch, telephones, radios, televisions, computers and smartphones. To spin a virtual planet on Google Earth with the swipe of a finger across an ‘ipad’ would have been almost incomprehensible to them one would imagine. Indeed technology has come an incredibly long way since Whangarei Heads Primary School began over 150 years ago!


Solar Panel Timeline

Year Installations Schoolgen Schools


Westlake Girls High School 



Northcote College, Greenhithe Primary, Tirimoana Primary, Pakuranga College, Silverdale Primary



Bayswater Primary, Henderson Valley Primary, Glendowie College, Maeroa, St Peter Chanel, Vardon Primary, Fairfield, St Paul’s, Hamilton Girls High, Forest Lake Primary, Matamata Primary, Te Kowhai Primary, Mercury Bay Area School, Raglan Area School, Taupo Nui-a-tia College



Muritai Primary, Paremata Primary, Douglas Park Primary, Raphael House, Clifton Terrace Model School, Eastern Hutt Primary, Wadestown Primary, Paraparaumu, Plateau Primary, Napier, Hastings, Pukehou Primary, Horowhitu Primary, Aokautere Primary, Newbury Primary, St Anthony’s Primary, Wanganui, Mt Biggs Primary, St John’s Hill Primary, Kimbolton Primary, Awahou Primary



Sumner Primary, Middleton Grange, Banks Avenue Primary, Lake Tekapo Primary



Whakatane Intermediate, James St Primary, Mangakahia Area School, Whangarei Heads School


Genesis Energy’s Schoolgen Programme was initiated in 2006 with a pilot installation of a  2 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) system at Westlake Girls High School. The following year, Schoolgen set up five more schools in Auckland with 2 kW photovoltaic systems. In 2008 three more schools in Auckland, seven in the Hamilton City area, and five in the Greater Waikato were selected. In 2009 Genesis Energy selected nine schools in Greater Wellington, three in Hawkes Bay, and nine in Manawatu/Wanganui.

In 2012 Schoolgen went to the South Island with three 2 kW installations in Christchurch and one in Lake Tekapo. These newer installations used the latest ‘micromorph’ thin-film PV panels, as well as a new brand of inverters, designed and manufactured in Christchurch by NZ technology company, EnaSolar.

In 2013 four more schools have been given the opportunity to gain free solar PV panels and join the Schoolgen education programme! This brings the total number of schools to 50, with a total installed capacity of 100 kilowatts!

The Schoolgen distributed solar power station is one of the largest in New Zealand and is demonstrating the potential of solar energy to the wider community.