Christchurch's Cashmere High School has received the Zayed Future Energy Prize in the Global High Schools category for the Oceania region.
The US$4 million prize round has recognised 48 pioneers in green energy around the world within its eight years of operation.
The programme is aimed at creating a growing global community orientated toward actively facing the challenges of climate change with sustainable solutions.
"Cashmere High School is absolutely delighted and honoured to win the Zayed Future Energy Prize. This award will enable our school to invest in a new energy future that is sustainable and inspires teenagers in New Zealand to take action," said science teacher Dr Leith Cooper.
Cashmere High School received US$100,000, which it will use to install a 25 kilowatt photovoltaic solar system, a 2 kilowatt wind turbine, as well as piezoelectric floor tiles for the school which generate electricity by being walked and jumped upon.
The school will also be running a heavy sustainable energy campaign, saving money on power and enabling it to invest in its "EcoHabitat" classroom.
"Our project will be student-led from start to finish, and will involve students installing solar panels, a wind-turbine and the latest technology in piezoelectric tiles that students walk and jump on to generate electricity," added Dr Cooper.
The award was presented to Cashmere High School by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The school was among nine winners across five categories that received the prize.
"We are delighted to welcome Cashmere High School to our growing international community as the winner of the Oceania region of the Global High Schools category. We were impressed by the vision and ambition shown within their project proposal. We hope that they will act as an inspiration for other schools to want to begin their sustainability journey with the Zayed Future Energy Prize," said Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other international dignitaries also attended the awards cereminy during its Sustainability Week.
The Global High Schools category gives money to schools that make a project proposal to encourage youth to incorporate sustainable energy usage, equipment and behaviours into the daily operations of their school and the wider community.
Submissions for the next edition of the Zayed Future Energy Prize are now open here.