Solar panels have been installed on the roof of Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS), producing an immediate saving in electricity costs which is expected to continue for the next 20 years.
The 250 kilowatt installation incorporates in the region of 1,000 panels mounted on an extruded railing system connected via cabling into a ground floor switch room.
The project has been funded by South Gloucestershire Council and will provide a double benefit to the community as the school will gain from reduced electricity bills while the council receives income from the school for the purchase of the generated electricity.
The school plans to make the most of the educational benefits, with a large performance display being situated in the school’s reception area showing power output, cumulative generation and CO2 offset. In addition, a web-based data logging system will be provided to give generation and export data with an option for staff to use this information output for educational purposes. The science and maths departments are already exploring opportunities to incorporate the technology into lessons so that ‘live’ data can be used in the classroom.
It is expected that the system will generate around 25% of the school’s daytime demand (when weather conditions allow) and provide a significant reduction in annual electricity costs.
BSCS executive headteacher Dave Baker commented:
“Prudent financial management and an ability to think innovatively to maximise our resources is as important as ever in what is a challenging environment for all schools. This project could provide significant cost savings for the school which will provide additional resources for learning and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the environment.”
Steve Moir, BSCS headteacher added:
“If we can spend funding on education rather than electricity bills, and not only that, we are teaching our young people about the importance of looking after the environment too; it’s a win-win in my eyes.”
The Journal understands that the Olympus Academy Trust, of which BSCS is a member, is now exploring the possibility of having solar panel installations at its other schools, including Abbeywood Community School in Stoke Gifford, which is said to have roof space that would be well suited to this application.
This article originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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