West Sussex solar schools

West Sussex solar schools

Project reduces costs and delivers an important lesson.

East Wittering Primary School

Pupils from East Wittering Primary School meet Cllr Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council and Cllr Pieter Montyn

We have worked with our first group of schools to install roof-mounted solar PV systems that generate cheap, low-carbon electricity for use during the daytime when energy demand is at its highest.

The largest 30kW systems can reduce energy bills by as much as £6,000 per year and cut annual carbon emissions by up to 40 tonnes. The solar PV systems have been installed at:

  • East Wittering Primary School - East Wittering
  • Bourne Community College - Emsworth
  • Manor Green Primary School - Crawley
  • Manor Green College - Crawley
  • Wisborough Green Primary School - Wisborough Green
  • Leechpool Primary School - Horsham
  • Sackville School - East Grinstead
  • Rydon Community College - Storrington

As part of the project, Your Energy Sussex provided each school with a comprehensive curriculum package to help teachers plan lessons about energy, sustainability and the environment. Each school also has an energy display panel fitted in a prominent position so that the children can keep an eye on the amount of electricity being generated by their solar panels.

Susan Parker, Head Teacher at East Wittering Community Primary School, said: "The opportunity was too good for the school to pass up and we are delighted that we did it. The system is clean and effective and will have a marked impact on the amount of energy that we pay for from our usual energy supplier. It's also a great example to our children of how science and technology can be applied in a really practical way. I am sure that they will learn a lot from the project."

The solar panels have been funded by Your Energy Sussex and installed by Carillion. The school buys the electricity at a discounted rate and the cost of the installation is paid back by income generated through solar feed-in tariffs. The income from the systems is unaffected by the Government's January 2016 reduction in solar feed-in-tariffs because they were completed and registered in late 2015.

The partnership is now working on the next phase of the programme with a wider group of West Sussex schools during 2016/17. Energy audits have been carried out to identify the most effective package of energy measures, including energy efficient lighting upgrades and more solar PV.