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From Cornwall to Peru: A Duchy School Sends Solar Support

Date: 12 Oct 2010

A jointly funded charity project by a Penzance-based solar energy company and a Newquay school is celebrating its success. Plug Into The Sun jointly funded solar cookers and solar showers with St Columb Minor School, to supply Jose Sevilla Escajadillo in San Pedro de Lloc. These have just arrived and been installed in the South American school.

Class in Peru with their new solar cooker Class in Peru with their new solar cooker

Children and parents at the school raised the money with a “Peru Fundraising Day” and Plug Into The Sun has fostered the educational and charitable link after fitting 14kWp of PV on the school’s roof back in June 2008. The successful link was set up by Plug Into The Sun’s Managing Director Andrew Tanner by introducing the school to GlobalEd – a scheme his company sponsors because of its aim to support teaching and learning in sustainability.

GlobalEd Director Tom Jolly ran an assembly at St Columb Minor School this week  to tell the children and staff about the successful installation in South America. He told them,

"This school’s actions have had a huge impact on other people’s lives in San Pedro de Lloc. By learning about solar energy and sharing what you have learnt, you have made their lives better. Not only do they now have extra resources but local people are learning they don’t have to spend so much of their incomes on fuel.

No other school in the UK has ever done anything like this. It is really powerful stuff."

That thought was echoed by the children in Year 4, who have written and received letters from their peers in Peru as well as holding global video conferences. Talia, Chloe and Josh give solar the thumbs up! Talia, Chloe and Josh give solar the thumbs up! 7 year old Talia says “I am proud and pleased to help the village; 8 year old Chloe tells us, “I think the solar power will be really useful. We’ve done so much and helped them a lot” and 7 year old Josh concluded, “It’s really cool because they can now make a cup of tea from the sun. The best thing is they learn about us and we learn about them.”

The school’s Business Manager Gill Harper says,

"Our own solar panels and the guidance from Plug Into The Sun really set the “energy awareness” ball rolling…we believe we have a responsibility to equip our children with the knowledge, skills and understanding to empower them to make informed choices by becoming responsible global citizens.

Some of our pupils will be decision makers one day and we hope they will go on to run sustainable businesses, use renewable technology and find other ways to exploit their knowledge and commitment in productive and inspiring ways."

Headteacher Jennie Walker was just as impressed with Plug Into The Sun's credentials,

"The link that we have forged with the school in San Pedro de LLoc, Peru is very important to us. We have been working with Tom Jolly and Andy Tanner for the past year to help to introduce renewable energy into the school.

Here at St Columb Minor School we are pleased to have helped a partner school along its route to sustainable energy. We are proud that we have made a difference to the lives of the children in San Pedro de LLoc. We look forward to our next set of letters and photos!"

Tom Jolly, who has just returned from the successful installation in Peru Tom Jolly in San Pedro de Lloc Tom Jolly in San Pedro de Lloc says that the school in San Pedro de Lloc will now start scientific experiments to find out the best locations and times for the solar cookers.

Plug Into The Sun’s Managing Director, Andrew Tanner couldn’t be more pleased,

"St Columb Minor School has really embraced sustainability and it just goes to show what can be achieved with solar PV. Renewable energy is not just about generating electricity, or making money with the Feed In Tariff. Installing solar panels sends a really important message out to those around you. In this case, the message has gone global – fantastic!"

Enjoy the video below: