Primary school reaps the rewards of both wind and solar energy.

Four Winds Energy Co-operative has supported the installation of solar panels on a local primary school at Duckmanton The solar energy system was installed in August this year and enable the school to reduce its energy costs.

Four Winds has developed co-operatively owned wind turbines on former colliery sites, with the aim of bringing benefit to the local communities. During the summer of 2014 a successful share offer raised £3.4m from members of the public with an interest in renewable energy.

Using these funds, Four Winds has built two 500KW wind turbines, one located at Duckmanton near Chesterfield and one between Grimethorpe and Cudworth called Shafton Turbine. The Duckmaton turbine started generating electricity in December 2014 and Shafton in July 2015. Income is derived from the sale of electricity and from the Feed in Tariff.

Four Winds gives a portionof the income to a community fund and this money has been used to support the installation of solar panels on the local primary school at Duckmanton, by providing the annual maintenance costs. The panels have been installed by Schools Energy Co-op, a similar style of co-operative to Four Winds which utilizes solar. In addition, Four Winds has organised visits for local school children to the Duckmanton turbine.

John Malone, Four Winds Director said” It’s very rewarding to see the community benefits materialising from this project. Duckmanton school overlooks the wind turbine therefore it makes perfect sense for them to benefit from the funds generated. The solar panels will provide clean, green electricity free of charge to the school for the next 20 years. This is also a perfect example of co-op helping another co-op. Four Winds intends to offer further school site visits.”

Four Winds and Schools Energy Co-op are both members of the Energy4All family of co-ops. Energy4All was formed in 2002 to expand the number of renewable energy co-operatives in the UK as an integral part of our transition to a low carbon economy.

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