Schools from across the country have been invited to receive installation of a free solar panel system, funded by the Centrica Energy for Tomorrow Fund (EFT).

The Solar for Schools programme began in 2010 and British Gas has now completed the test programme.

A number of schools – from the tip of England in Cornwall to Clackmannanshire in Scotland – have had photovoltaic solar panels installed.

Benefits

A solar power system helps schools reduce their business electricity with power generated from the sun’s rays. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced.

Solar energy will also help the schools reduce their carbon footprint by huge margins. Solar power is a renewable energy source and produces no harmful emissions.

The Feed in Tariff generated is re-invested in the EFT, a non-profit trust fund which invests in low carbon projects in the UK.  This means that more schools across the country can benefit from the free installation scheme.

Selected schools

The size and scale of schools involved in the programme have ranged from 200-year-old primary schools with only 100 pupils, to huge modern secondary comprehensives and academies with over 1500 pupils.

Before installation, each school faces a thorough site survey including a full structural survey to determine if it is suitable for the programme. Once complete, the schools are presented with a digital display panel which comes with artwork detailing the school’s name.

Roof types

British Gas have installed panels on a variety of roof types including flat felted roofs using either a non-penetrative solar mounting system, or timber upstands which are felted to maintain the roof’s integrity. Standing seamed roofs made of steel are also common, with lightweight support frames often used for fixing the solar panels.

Types of solar panel

Since the programme was launched four years ago, a variety of different panels and manufacturers have been used including Sharp, Trina, Solarworld, SMA and POWER1.

Working closely with the supplier Rexel, the procurement team constantly reviews panel efficiencies and costs. This ensures that British Gas continues to install the most cost-effective and best quality option available.

Have solar panels helped to make you business energy savings? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

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