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Council leader Julian Bell sees solar panels fitted at Perivale Primary School. Copyright © 2019 Andrew Wiard

Tenth local school gets solar power through ‘fantastic scheme’

Perivale Primary School was named as the 50th school to have a solar panel system installed through the School’s Energy Co-op scheme. An innovative, not-for profit, programme that supports schools to cut their carbon emissions and generate clean, green energy, saving money on their bills and teaching children about climate change, sustainability and renewable energy technologies.

The installation and maintenance costs of the system are covered by share offers taken up by the local community and supporters of community energy generation using a crowd-funding model. In Ealing, the Schools’ Energy Co-op was brought on-board through Ealing Transition, a local sustainability group which takes practical, local action on climate change, energy and food security.

The installed solar panels at Perivale Primary School. Copyright © 2019 Andrew Wiard T: +44 (0) 7973 219201 W: www.reportphotos.com E: andrew@reportphotos.com
The installed solar panels at Perivale Primary School. Copyright © 2019 Andrew Wiard

Ealing Transition worked with Ealing Council, which helped find schools that were suitable for the scheme, as well as providing support to ensure all the relevant paperwork was done, before working together with the schools and the Schools’ Energy Co-op to offer parents and residents the chance to invest in the solar panel schemes. The schemes also benefited from funding from the Mayor of London’s Community Energy Fund, which supported a feasibility study to help Ealing Transition demonstrate the impact solar energy could have in the borough.

Working together for clean, green energy

Council leader Julian Bell said: “The Schools Energy Co-operative is a fantastic scheme and I’m delighted that Perivale Primary marks the tenth school in Ealing to benefit from cheaper, greener energy.

“We have a climate crisis to deal with and every sector needs to be playing its part to support a rapid decrease in carbon emissions – this is a great way for schools to be part of that through installing solar panels. It’s completely unacceptable that the government is making schemes like this less viable through the ending of the Feed in Tariff. Ministers need to demonstrate their commitment to decarbonisation and reinstate the Tariff immediately.”

Mike Smyth, volunteer chair of the Schools’ Energy Co-operative, said: “We are delighted to have installed the 50th solar panel scheme at Perivale Primary School in Ealing.

“Just like at Perivale, each of the installations at schools in London and up and down the country has happened thanks to the collaboration and support of local people who all want to see their neighbourhood school generating clean, green energy. “

Perivale Primary School is taking its sustainability seriously; as well as working with the Schools’ Energy Co-op to install the solar panel system it has also undertaken an energy efficiency review and is partially re-lighting the school with LEDs.

‘It made perfect sense for us to get involved’

Audrey Daley, headteacher at Perivale Primary School, said: “When we were told about the opportunity to install solar panels and generate our own clean, green energy it made perfect sense for us to get involved; it fits perfectly with the ethos of our school.

“We’re able to show the children how we’re making a difference and reducing our carbon footprint. The whole project has helped us think more carefully about how we use energy, and now we’re taking steps to become even more energy efficient, switching much of our lighting to LEDs. It’s great for the whole school community to be able to see how green technology works first hand and encouraging the children to think about how to live their lives more sustainably in the future.”

Perivale Primary School is the 10th school in Ealing to become part of the scheme, and the 12th in London. The cooperative is developing 26 more schemes in London, including seven more installations on schools and children’s centres in Ealing.

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