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Staffordshire schools to have photo-voltaic panels fitted

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 27, 2014

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A £1 MILLION investment will see solar panels fitted to Staffordshire schools to help them save on energy costs.

Twenty-five schools will be fitted with solar PV (photo-voltaic) panels as Staffordshire County Council continues to deliver on its commitment to boost the use of renewable technology and make savings.

The funding will be made available by a community benefit society, through a Solar Share Offer.

It is estimated to save around £90,000 of electricity costs per year for the schools.

Three of the schools are Moorlands Sixth Form College, Cheadle, Westwood College, Leek, and Waterhouses C of E Primary School.

Staffordshire county councillor, Ben Adams, cabinet member for learning and skills said: "We've been working hard over the last few years to help reduce energy costs across all Council services including schools.

"This project will see the schools benefit from free, environmentally friendly electricity, allowing them to invest their funds in other areas that will help enhance the education for pupils.

"Cutting back on energy usage is not only great news for our schools but also for our council tax paying residents as we continue to reduce energy bills and cut our CO2 emissions."

Andy Heald, from Generation Community Limited said: "The investment scheme empowers local communities, who can get involved and benefit from the profits of the project.

"It is a community partnership, allowing people to support their local school and community, and is an innovative way of raising funds for the benefit of Staffordshire towns and villages.

"People have the individual choice of whether to invest in their local scheme, with the risks and benefits that any financial investment can carry."

The use of renewable energy will cut the council's carbon emissions by up to 7,329 tonnes over the course of the project.

This £1 million investment is just one of Staffordshire County Council's many energy saving initiatives running alongside other schemes using renewable energy and capital investment in more efficient plant and equipment such as modern boilers and improved insulation.

Solar panels have also been installed on county council run libraries and the new Staffordshire Place HQ has one of the highest energy efficiency ratings possible.

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