One of the country’s biggest solar panel arrays on a school building has been installed at Northfleet School for Girls.
At 180kWp, the panels, installed by SAS Energy, provide enough power for 30% of the school’s energy use.
The school will save around £17,000 a year on its energy bill and will reduce its carbon emissions by 100 tonnes a year, equivalent to taking 20 cars off the road.
The school has already replaced most of its lights with LED and has an active environment team made up of pupils and teachers.
Facilities manager at the school Andy Jarrett said: “As part of our continuing cost reduction program and following on from the LED installation the natural next stage was to install solar panels.
“The school’s mode of operation maximises the benefits of the system and the installation went smoothly without any disruption to the school.”
The headteacher is also keen to use the solar panels as an educational tool for the pupils.
The IT systems will monitor all the information, so it will be able to be used by pupils to look further into all areas of the performance of the solar panels.
Head Chris Norwood said: “Developing a more environmental school through investing in LED technology and solar power has been a great project that will really benefit the school.
“Not only are we able to direct more funds from running the building to student support, but we are also able to model positive environmental practice to our students and staff.
“I hope more schools are able to invest in such a way.”
The next project the school is looking at is the installation of electric vehicle charging points.
KCC cabinet member for the environment Mike Whiting said: “It’s fantastic to see how forward-thinking Northfleet School for Girls has been.
“As a county council it is our duty to help schools reduce their energy bills and we have helped 95 schools to take up energy efficiency and renewable energy systems across Kent.
“We are keen to help more schools to achieve what Northfleet has done so brilliantly well.”
The project has been funded through Salix Finance, a government funded organisation which provide interest-free loans for energy improvements in schools across the UK.