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Greenfield reinforces its green credentials with solar power

posted 17 Feb 2015, 08:35 by Unknown user   [ updated 24 Apr 2015, 01:18 by Dan Potts ]
Two solar panel systems have recently been fitted to Greenfield Community College, Newton Aycliffe bringing educational opportunities and renewable power to the school.


Greenfield’s Executive Headteacher David Priestley said:  "As a school we decided to look at solar PV panels for a number of reasons. Firstly it allows us to reduce our energy cost which means we can redirect the saving to buy additional resources for students, but it also means we can enhance our students understanding of renewable power, energy use and the need to reduce carbon emissions with real-life contextual learning.”


“We have a role to play in our community to help students understand how long-term global challenges, like climate change and protecting our environment, are affected by personal, local and national initiatives and that by using power generated by the sun, we are playing our part in                                                                                                   contributing to change for the better.”


The solar PV systems are owned and will be managed, maintained and run by Engynious Clean Power (UK). In total over 400 panels will provide 106kWp which is expected to generate nearly 25% of the school’s daytime electricity demand and save the school around 78 tonnes of carbon every year.  The lower price of the energy generated by the solar power will mean that the school should see savings in the first year of over £3,500 which will rise as mains supplied electricity prices increase.


Engynious UK director Gregor Loukidis said: “Our programme gives schools, which do not have capital to spend,a fantastic opportunity to reap the benefits of solar power, to look at energy supply and reduce their energy bills and their carbon footprint at the same time.This project is a long-term partnership and will deliver schools an immediate saving and long-term benefits.”


The ingenious programme is run in co-operation with SEEd, the national charity that encourages schools to embrace sustainability into what they do and teach.

Ann Finlayson, CEO of the sustainability and environmental education charity, SEEd, said: “We can’t all afford solar PV or find the time and resources to apply for it but by working with Engynious schools have an opportunity to buy solar energy more cheaply than they currently pay for electricity so it’s a no risk, no cost option that helps schools develop their sustainability education.”


One of SEEd’s network members is the local charity, OASES, which promotes sustainability and outdoor learning to schools in and around Durham.  By working with Engynious, it is hoped that schools across the County will take up more opportunities to extend their environmental education and explore the generation, use and conversation of energy.