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Community-Led Solar Scheme Provides Much More Than Electricity To South Wales Primary School

How solar scholars got switched onWednesday, October 24, 2012


BRIGHT sparks at Richmond Park School are looking at ways to reduce electricity.
The Year 6 pupils have been put in charge of the school’s energy bills in a bid to cut down on use and save money.
It comes after 18 solar panels were recently installed by Carmarthenshire Council in the Priory Street school.
The move is expected to slash increasing bills with laptops and white boards feeding off the natural resource.
And as this is Energy Saving Week this will also help pupils to find other ways to save.
The project is supported by the Carmarthenshire Energy Trust (CET) and Carmarthenshire Community Challenge campaign.
CET chairman Neil Lewis said: “The large photo voltaic array on the school produces energy that can be monitored by the children.
“They can compare this electricity produced with energy used. They can learn energy efficiency ideas that can also be crucial skills going forward. Like other schools in Carmarthenshire it’s challenged by ever increasing electricity bills due to use of laptops and whiteboards. Naturally this puts stress on balancing budgets.”
In July the school was awarded its third green flag through the Eco Schools initiative. Teachers and pupils were praised for their involvement with environmental issues. Head teacher Sion Mason-Evans said: “It is important that children understand the importance of solar panels especially as they are born into an era of fuel poverty. They will be closely monitoring the use of electric at the school and will be looking at ways to reduce energy use.”
The CET is a community interest company where residents are to be offered a chance of investing with returns whilst saving schools money and helping the children learn vital skills. Any profits made are reinvested in other schemes.
It is hoped similar community-led schemes can be rolled out in every primary school in Carmarthenshire.
Executive board member for environment Jim Jones said: “The money saved in electricity by installing solar panels can be used for other vital resources for the school, such as books and stationery needed to help provide the best possible education for our children.”
Become part of Carmarthenshire’s Community Challenge today. Call 01267 224902 or visit http://www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/ communitychallenge. Follow us on http://www.facebook.com/ CarmarthenshireCommunity Challenge or http://www.twitter.com/ CarmsChallenge
Source: This is South Wales (http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/solar-scholars-got-switched/story-17166385-detail/story.html)

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