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Andrew George MP unveiling school solar panels

Date: 24 Sep 2010

Plug Into The Sun is delighted to announce Alverton School’s Solar Open Morning today, with honorary guest Andrew George MP. The school is officially unveiling its new solar PV installation which is now commissioned and ready to make money from sunshine.

The install is a perfect example of how the Feed In Tariff is changing the face of the renewables industry, with the south west leading the way. Demand is increasing as the Feed In Tariff becomes more widely known and the south west’s reputation as the best place for solar in the UK grows. Ofgem figures show Feed In Tariff payments have already topped £180,000 nationally since its introduction in April.

It’s not just homeowners either and Alverton School isn’t a one off. This summer alone, Cornwall’s leading PV installer, Plug Into The Sun installed panels on the roofs of FIVE schools as well as at the Combined University Cornwall’s Tremough campus.

The 4kWp system will help provide free electricity to cover part of the schools power needs and of course it is all coming from a clean, renewable source; the sun. The 4kWp system will generate the same amount of energy as the average home uses in a year, offsetting about 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide. At full power the solar will produce enough energy to power 50 computers. What’s more with this installation, the whole school – pupils, teachers and parents – can watch what power the roof panels are producing at the same time as monitoring what electricity the school is using. This is thanks to a bespoke LED visual display showing the instantaneous readings from the solar system to create a unique educational tool.

Penzance-based solar PV installers Plug Into The Sun have carried out the project from design to installation and worked closely with the school to create a bespoke solution. A team of skilled electricians and installers are now busy plugging into the sun before the new term starts. The school was allocated a grant to pay for 50% of the capital costs, but decided not to accept it so that they could benefit from the Feed In Tariff.

The system is anticipated to generate approximately 4000kWh per year, which will generate an income of £1600 per year PLUS savings in energy bills of up to £400. This means the £20,000 installation costs will be repaid within 10 years and be generating an income for a total of 25 years.

Managing Director Andrew Tanner says "Becoming more sustainable is one thing, but setting up an opportunity for others to learn about sustainability is just as valuable. That’s why Plug Into the Sun is delighted another Cornish school can benefit from decreasing electricity bills whilst at the same time increasing the environmental education they offer. With our unique and individually designed displays, schoolchildren gain a real sense of pride, responsibility and ownership over their energy usage."