The dark winter nights may be drawing in, but there will be a slice of sunshine at the official launch of a community solar scheme for two Salford schools.
On Monday 21st November at 12:30pm at Hamilton Davies House on Liverpool Road, Irlam, the Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett, will launch the scheme which has seen almost 60kW of solar panels installed on Irlam and Fiddlers Lane Primary Schools by a local renewable energy society, Greater Manchester Community Renewables (GMCR). The funding for the scheme was raised from local people who bought shares in GMCR, and will help the two schools save money on their electricity bills.
Elaine Darwin, Head Teacher at Irlam Primary School, said, “We are absolutely delighted with the solar panels, which were installed free of charge by GMCR. Renewable energy spans many aspects of the school curriculum and the solar installation helps to bring this to life – the pupils loved the assembly a couple of weeks ago when the installer explained how the panels were installed.”
Ann McQuirk, Business Manager at Fiddlers Lane Primary School, said, “We were pleased to be able to use our roof to support this project. Not only will it save us a few pounds on our electricity bills which we can spend on education instead, it will also support the wider community through the profits it generates. ”
The Mayor will launch the scheme with the cutting of a large cake in the shape of the sun. Supported by Salford City Council, it is hoped that there will be future phases of the scheme despite cuts to Government support for solar power.
The Mayor Paul Dennett said, “I am delighted to be able to launch this scheme, which I hope will be the first of many similar schemes here in Salford. Putting the community at the heart of our future energy supply will be absolutely essential in ensuring a quality environment for our children’s future.”
The solar installations were completed over the summer holidays by Oldham based electrical firm, NPS Solar. Ben Nuttall, Director, said “NPS Solar is proud to have won the contract to work on this community energy project. Not only will installing solar panels generate more green electricity, it will also generate awareness of the benefits of renewable energy within the local community.”
“We are so grateful for the support of the schools, the Council and, of course, our members who invested.” said Kate Eldridge, a Director of GMCR. “Together we have delivered a project which will not only help to tackle climate change but will also benefit the community and help the next generation learn about solar power.”
Note to editors
Greater Manchester Community Renewables Limited (GMCR) is a community benefit society, set up and run by volunteers to install community-owned renewable energy across Greater Manchester.
GMCR has raised £186,000 through a community share offer, funding the installation of solar panels at three schools in Salford, (Irlam Primary School, Fiddlers Lane Primary School and Primrose Hill Primary School) and a community hub in Trafford (The Fuse, Partington).
GMCR projects that overall it will
- Save 50 tonnes carbon dioxide in the first year of operation
- Over 20 years, provide combined energy bill savings of almost £50,000 to the sites
- Generate a total Community Fund of over £50,000 to be used in the areas around the sites for future eco-friendly initiatives
For more information, see: http://www.gmcr.org.uk