Thousands could be saved by solar panel installationBy Laura Herbert
October 26, 2012
Schools, youth centres and a library could save thousands of pounds a year in energy bills after solar panels were installed.
Around 3,000 panels, with a capacity to generate more than 700kW, have been mounted on the rooftops of 20 schools, Wokingham Youth Centre in Reading Road, Wokingham Library in Denmark Street, and the Acorn Community Centre in Fernlea Drive, Woosehill.
It is estimated the panels could save each building between £400 and £4,000 a year.
Using the Government’s Feed In Tariff system, which pays people back for creating their own green electricity, Wokingham Borough Council expects its £1.1 million investment to be repaid within a decade. The buildings with the new solar PV (photovoltaic) panels will become less carbon-intensive and more self-sufficient, with less reliance on electricity made from fossil fuels which are harmful to the environment.
Pupils at one special school, five infant, four junior and 10 primary schools now have the panels, as well as The Red Kite and Riverdale Children’s Centres, The Brambles Neighbourhood Centre and The Rainbow Community Centre.
The panels will generate electricity during daylight hours, even in cloudy weather, all year round.
Councillor Angus Ross, executive member for the environment, said: “I’m thrilled we had the opportunity to install these panels to show our green credentials but also to make cost savings for many of our schools and other community buildings.
“The planning and installation went well and was completed on time. We will monitor the success to ensure the benefits are realised and also see if such invest to save programmes can be made for other council sites across the borough.”
Shaun Taylor, managing director at SolarTech, added: “As well as making a significant contribution towards reducing the energy costs and carbon footprint of schools and other council buildings, the new PV systems will also play a key role in helping schoolchildren understand the value and benefits of renewable energy technologies.”