School solar

School goes solar

A school in Hilsea, Portsmouth, will fit solar panels to their roof in a bid to become more environmentally friendly, teach the students about renewable energy first hand and collaborate with Portsmouth’s entry into the high-tech America’s Cup race.

Northern Parade Junior and Infants Schools will get solar panels that produce 64,754 kWh, which could produce enough power for 21 domestic homes. The 1851 Trust was set up by the Land Rover BAR team. It is based in nearby Camber and will represent the country in the America’s Cup race, a legendary sail-powered race.

Sir Ben Ainslie, team principal and skipper of Land Rover BAR, said: “We hope this project will not only help Northern Parade Infant and Junior School deliver on its sustainability goals, but provide inspiration to schools across the country on the opportunities that renewable technology installations can bring to students, staff and the wider community.”

Schools and businesses alike could benefit from fitting solar panels to the roof. A school, in particular, is a stable environment and there is no reason to think that it will move anytime soon. That means there is time to recoup the initial investment and save significant amounts in the long term.

Then there are the environmental benefits, with the reduced power intake helping to reduce pollution and to form part of the government’s commitment to lower emissions in the years ahead. It’s a clear policy that would drive the message home to the taxpayer that the government is determined to press ahead with a cleaner, greener future and the initial outlay will be more than covered by the reduced bills, government incentives, partnerships with local businesses and even sponsorship. There is often a way to make it work that some schools have not yet considered.

Colleges, community buildings and other stable environments could and indeed should make the switch to solar power, too. There is an investment at the start, there’s no getting around that fact, but any facility that is likely to stay in place for the coming years will recoup the money, start to turn a profit and contribute to a cleaner environment for everybody.