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|Features||Solar Hot Water Heating,Solar PV Panels,Waste and Recycling|
Birchwood Primary School has photo-voltaic (PV) solar panels installed on its roof which means it benefits from ‘free’ green electricity.
The school has many other green features and was deservedly awarded Suffolk’s Greenest School at the Greenest County Awards 2012. Birchwood Primary school is also the proud holder of the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award.
Over the last year Suffolk County Council’s Corporate Property team has deployed almost 1MW of photo-voltaic (PV) solar panel capacity across schools and corporate buildings in Suffolk. PV panels generate renewable electricity and qualify for renewable electricity payments under the Government’s feed-intariff (FiT) scheme.
To-date PV panels have been installed on almost 50 schools with each therefore benefiting from an amount of ‘free’ electricity. The total amount of renewable electricity generated each year is approximately 850,000kWh (enough to power 140 typical family homes). The value of this electricity at current prices is in excess of £70,000 and the corresponding annual reduction in carbon emissions amounts to more than 350 tonnes CO2. SCC’s Corporate Property receives the FiT payments for each installation to re-pay the capital costs of the scheme and also fund in-life maintenance costs.
The benefit of PV panels to schools is more than just the value of the ‘free electricity’; each installation includes a large screen which displays energy and carbon data from the PV panels in real-time and this can also be displayed in numeric and graphical form on PCs using an online solar energy portal. This capability is considered to be an extremely valuable curriculum tool and encourages greater interest in green energy and emissions reduction.
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