School solar PV performs well
Alcester Grammar School Academy (AGS) was one of the first Warwickshire schools to produce its own renewable electricity from the sun! Greenwatt assisted the school to install 26 panels with a peak capacity of 6.5kW using Winaico solar panels with an SMA inverter. The project has not only provided a useful investment and income source but has also served as an educational resource and a flagship for an exciting sustainability project. Supported by parents and governors, the School has ‘ring fenced’ the income gained from the Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme and is using it to fund other sustainability projects, as well as making an annual contribution to the SolarAid charity supplying solar lighting to African school children.
Feed in Tariff and the income generation
Alcester Grammar School has taken advantage of the Government funded Feed in Tariff scheme that pays 36.1p for every kWh of electricity produced and 3p for up to 50% of solar electricity exported (2011 tariffs). The 2011 tariff is index linked and guaranteed for 25 years. And all the renewable electricity used by the school when the sun is shining comes FREE – saving approx 10p/kWh at 2015 prices. The solar PV system is earning the school around £2,000 per annum and around £50,000 (index linked) over the 25 year FiT period – and panels will be producing for many years after that.
Students and staff at the School can not only use the data produced as a learning resource, but through the installation of data collection hardware and software, they can see every day that they are contributing to a cleaner environment too! This graph shows the power produced by the school solar panels over recent years.
Iain Blaikie – Head Teacher, 2012
‘We are delighted with the installation of the photovoltaic panels and the interest it has created for students and staff. The system provides an ongoing income which will be used for sustainability initiatives both within the school and the wider community. This will not only encourage and reward students who devise eco and sustainable projects but will also embed this vital sustainability message amongst future decision makers. We would like to thank Mike Woollacott from Greenwatt Technology who gave invaluable support to Governors and staff to create the project framework and co-ordinated the smooth installation of the panels over the half term.’