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You are here: Home Page > Environment and Planning > Sustainability > Renewable Energy - Schools

Renewable Energy - Schools

Every school has the potential to generate its own renewable energy. as most schools have a large roof, solar PV is normally a good option. There are, however, alternatives, such as wind turbines, or for heat generation, biomass boilers or air/ground source heat pumps.  To find out about the technologies visit the Energy Saving Trust's website.  

 

Solar Photovoltaics

The main benefits of installing Solar Photovoltaic panels are:

  1. Reduced electricity bills - schools can make significant savings on their electricity bills as solar panels can generate electricity for 25 years or more.
  2. Revenue generation - Solar PV will generate a steady income for schools over a 20 year period. Most PV systems achieve a full payback of between 10-12 yearsand will generate revenue streams for another 8-10 years,
  3. Reducing CO2 emissions - installing Solar PV will reduce the school's greenhouse gas emissions creating significant CO2 savings over the lifespan of a system.
  4. Education and engagement - being able to communicate to the pupils the benefits of sustainability through a working example of renewable technology in their own school will provide more direct engagement and can be used to help to inspire the wider community to take action to reduce carbon emissions. 

 

DECC has produced a guide for schools, which details the above benefits, a checklist of essential factors for schools to consider and links to further information and advice on sources of finance and funding.

 

The Feed-in Tariff

The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) allows schools (and householders and businesses) to receive a fixed rate for the electricity generated (called the Generation tariff), along with any unused electricity exported back to the grid (called the Export tariff), as well as savings on their electricity bill from the generation they use on site.

 

Is my system eligible for the Feed-in Tariff?

Anyone who installs a qualifying renewable electricity system, without the use of a grant from public funds, is eligible to claim Feed-In Tariffs. For 'microgeneration' - systems below 50kW, the major equipment needs to be certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and needs to be installed by a company accredited under the MCS.

 

How do I register for the FIT?

Bedford Borough Council can provide information and advice on how to apply for the FIT. Contact: energy.team@bedford.gov.uk.


 

FAQs:

Does my school need planning permission for Solar PV panels?

In many cases installing solar panels on non-domestic land is likely to be considered 'permitted development' with no need to apply to the council for planning permission. There are, however, important limits and conditions which must be met to benefit from the permitted development rights. Visit the Department for Communities and Local Government's Planning Portal to find out more. You can also visit the Planning section on the Council's website or call 01234 718068.

 

I am considering renting out our roof space. What should I do?

Advice on what you should consider if you are approached by a company offering you a 'rent a roof space' solar PV scheme.