Since 2014 The Schools’ Energy Co-operative has installed solar PV panels on 30 schools from Poole to Teesside, with 4 more expected soon. This has been funded by £1.3 million raised from our 250 plus members. From 2018 we expect to save more than 1,000 tonnes** of carbon dioxide each year, for at least the next 20 years.
Our systems have a combined capacity of 1.2 megawatts (MW), and are expected to produce around a gigawatt-hour of electricity each year. This is enough to power about 300 typical UK homes, or to make more than 15 million cups of tea! The carbon dioxide saved is equivalent to reducing car use by 6 million miles a year.
Although subsidies have fallen dramatically, larger systems on some schools can still be viable – we are currently talking to 10 further schools, which could take our capacity to 2 MW before subsidies are withdrawn in March 2019. For this we are looking at other ways to raise funds. We are also exploring ways to help schools save energy by switching to LED lighting.
** Compared to generation by coal