Green Wales

Page last updated at 07:34 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Solar panels help school go green

Solar panel
The panels will save two tonnes of CO2 emissions

A school is to reduce its carbon footprint by switching on its new set of £20,000 rooftop solar panels.

Ysgol Bro Gwaun at Fishguard in Pembrokeshire is among 80 schools to receive funding for renewable energy technology.

The panels at the 660-pupil school will generate enough energy each year to power a computer for 33,000 hours.

Head boy Vaughan Davies said pupils were "really pleased" to see the school producing its own renewable energy.

The school's solar panels are part-funded by The Co-operative's Green Energy for Schools scheme, with match-funding from the UK government's Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP).

Alan Merrett, manager of The Co-operative food store in Neyland, said the installation of the panels would help educate Ysgol Bro Gwaun's pupils about green energy as well as reducing the school's reliance on fossil fuels.

We would like to see the school getting a lot more of its energy in this way
Vaughan Davies, head boy

He said: "We hope the switch-on of these rooftop solar panels will give the whole community a jolt by sending out a strong message about the urgent need to do what we can to tackle climate change."

Schools were nominated for the project by Co-operative staff and members, and SolarCentury, which installs the panels, then assessed the suitability of their premises.

The 24 photovoltaic panels should generate around 3,300 kWh of electricity each year, saving around two tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Pupils can keep track of how much renewable energy the panels are generating and the amount of carbon dioxide they have saved to date by checking a monitor in the school building.

Head boy Vaughan Davies said: "Pupils are really pleased to see that the school is able to produce its own renewable energy thus reducing its carbon footprint."

He added: "We would like to see the school getting a lot more of its energy in this way."

Head teacher Christine Wright said the school was already working hard to reduce its carbon footprint.

"Switching on these rooftop solar panels will instantly boost our efforts while sending out a strong message about our commitment to helping the environment," she said.

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