Shropshire Schools Go Solar To Save Energy And Costs
- Published: Wednesday, 01 August 2012 13:47
Sundorne School and Sports College in Shrewsbury are now benefiting from the first pilot scheme in Shropshire to generate ‘green’ electricity in council buildings from solar power. The school is one of 17 in Shropshire to harness the power of the sun as part of Shropshire Council’s Carbon Management Programme to cut energy costs.
The schools have been installed with solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels following a decision by councillors last year to take advantage of the national Feed In Tariff initiative, which pays owners of renewable energy installations for each unit of renewable electricity generated.
The installations were completed in advance of the introduction of the new lower-rated Feed in Tariff by the Government in April 2012. In partnership with SolarTech Ltd, the council had to move fast to meet the shifting deadline to get as many solar panels installed in the county as possible before the Feed-in Tariffs were cut in half. Taking advantage of the higher rate of Feed in Tariff will help generate more income, that will initially be used to pay for the cost of installations.
As a result approximately 3,000 solar panels across 17 schools in Shropshire have been installed in a drive to save money on energy, combat climate change and provide some insulation against future energy price rises.
Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for carbon reduction and sustainability, and education and skills, said:
“Shropshire Council recognises its duty to play our part in decreasing our carbon footprint in Shropshire, and we have set ourselves a high target to push us to do the best we possibly can.
“It’s great to see our schools being the first to receive solar panels and benefit from using solar energy. I am sure many children at our schools will get a lot out of seeing how renewable energy is generated.
“Using energy more efficiently and harnessing our viable renewable energy resources will not only help our environment, but in these times of increasing energy costs will reduce consumption and bring financial savings.”
Solar panels are also planned to be installed at a further 20 to 30 other council-owned properties.
Each school has been provided with web portal access giving real time energy monitoring to demonstrate to its pupils the renewable energy being generated by the sun and the carbon savings being achieved as a result.
Shaun Taylor, Managing Director for SolarTech Ltd, said:
“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to be involved in this flagship project. As well as making a significant contribution towards reducing each of the school’s energy costs and carbon footprint, the new PV systems will also play a key role in helping to educate children about the benefits of renewable energy technologies.”
Other renewable energy installations already in place include a ground source heat pump at Worthen Primary School and solar thermal for hot water at William Brookes School. Much Wenlock.
Shropshire’s solar panel project is expected to generate more than 600,000 kWh of electricity a year and lower carbon emissions in Shropshire by more than 300 tonnes of CO2.
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