Page last updated at 10:15 GMT, Monday, 19 May 2008 11:15 UK

Free solar power first for school

Solar panel
The panels will save two tonnes of CO2 emissions

A primary school in Pembrokeshire has become the first in Wales to benefit from a scheme to install free solar panels at 100 schools around the UK.

Tavernspite School, near Whitland, has received panels worth 20,000, which can produce 3,000kWh of energy a year.

The Green Energy for Schools scheme is jointly funded by the UK government and the Co-operative Group.

Ferndale Infants School in Rhondda is the only other Welsh school to successfully apply to the scheme.

The Co-op's climate change character, Sunny Solar, has officially switched on Tavernspite's panels.

The panels were installed during the half-term break in February and have been firing for six weeks.

We had a recycled Christmas one year where we cancelled Christmas cards and everyone had singing greetings instead
Julie Halton

They will prevent two tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from being produced each year.

The children are able to monitor the panels' output from a monitor mounted on the wall inside the school.

Tavarnspite was chosen after a parent who works for the Co-op locally nominated the school because of the efforts it already makes to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Teacher Julie Halton said: "We compost food waste, paper, paper towels.

"We recycle papers, recycle batteries, ink cartridges, we recycle phones for 'Phones for Schools' campaign which earns us points to spend in Argos, and cash.

"It extends to things like growing our own vegetables in the nature garden.

"We had a recycled Christmas one year where we cancelled Christmas cards and everyone had singing greetings instead."

As well as saving the school money, there is the possibility the panels may generate some for it.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said: "The aim is for long periods like summer holidays, when the children aren't here and the building isn't in use, that we're able to save the power and indeed sell it back so it should create some sort of income for us as well."


SEE ALSO
School to produce own electricity
01 Feb 08 |  North West Wales
The pros and cons of solar power
07 Feb 08 |  Science/Nature
'Green' school officially opens
12 Dec 07 |  Lincolnshire
Solar church hopes to sell power
02 Jul 07 |  South East Wales

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