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Caerphilly schools go solar

Published in News at 15:00, Tuesday March 26th, 2013.

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Schools in the Heads of the Valley’s area of Caerphilly County Borough are set to benefit from new solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, with £71,000 worth of funding secured.

The funding will allow the Caerphilly Solar Schools Project, which was launched in 2009, to enter the second phase of works. Phase one of the project has seen nine Caerphilly county borough schools benefit from energy bill savings, with £225,000 spent on the installation of PV panels.

It is estimated the nine schools which received PV panels during phase one of the project have generated 3,196KWh of electricity per year and have contributed towards lowering the authority’s carbon footprint by an estimated carbon dioxide saving of 1,836 tonnes per school.

Cllr Ken James, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and sustainable development, said: “The Solar Schools Project has significantly helped the Council with our priority of making all our services more sustainable for the environment. As one of the leading Local Authorities in Wales we aim to significantly reduce our carbon emissions by 2019, and phase two of the Solar Schools Programme will ensure that we are well on our way to reaching this ambitious goal.”

In addition to the £225,000 of funding for phase one of the programme of works, £20,000 was secured in order to develop educational resources for all schools across the county borough, supporting the Eco Schools programme and the delivery of renewable energy as part of the curriculum.

As well as being taught using the educational resources, pupils attending the schools with the PV panels are able to see a renewable energy system in use.

The schools which will receive the PV panels during phase two of the project are yet to be announced and are subject to survey at each school site.

The Caerphilly Solar Schools Project is being funded by United Welsh Housing Association, using Welsh Government Heads of the Valley Regeneration funds.

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  • Cllr. Richard Willia

    It is a good thing for school children to see renewable energy in action, I am extremely sceptical of anthropogenic 'global warming' or ‘climate change’ as its disciples now call it as the world cools, but energy saving has always been a worthy objective.

    I am a little confused by the figures supplied. The claim is that nine schools are estimated to have produced 3,196 kWh of useable energy since 2009. I see that the council claim this has reduced carbon emissions by 1,836 tonnes per school!

    Using the Defra conversion factor for grid electricity of 0.5246 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent per kWh the true figure is 3,196 X 0.5246 = 1,676 kg, or in other words just over one and a half tonnes per annum.

    In financial terms the 3,196 kWh produced (per annum) would have cost around £447 from the electricity grid, using a domestic tariff for calculation. This is in return for a £225,000 investment.

  • Jan

    solar energy is a good thing but I think caerphilly cbc priority is to get rid of asbestos in schools first and then think about solar panels.
    Cwmcarn is not the only school with asbestos as we are all well aware and I think solar comes after the health,safety and well being of staff and pupils so lets get the priorities sorted out.