Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Schools beat the deadline to go solar-powered thanks to quick-witted County Council

West Sussex County Council has helped schools benefit from low-cost, renewable electricity by funding an initiative to install state-of-the-art solar panels.

Seven schools in the county, given interest-free loans by the local authority, had just six weeks to mount the rooftop cells and apply to be part of the government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme.

The project, which pays-out for each kilowatt of electricity generated and fed back into the national grid, were helped through by the County Council which ensured the survey, planning and loan applications were approved before the December deadline.

Schools which received funding included Littlehaven Infant School in Horsham, Birdham School, St Peter’s Catholic and Blackwell Primary’s in East Grinstead, Cornfield Special and The Angmering Secondary Schools – with the majority having their solar panels installed by national efficiency solutions company Anesco.

Peter Griffiths, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Schools, said: “Those eligible for loans had to demonstrate they followed our five-step carbon reduction process which included energy saving behaviour campaigns and having Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology installed.

“It was an excellent exercise in partnership with Anesco as the deadline for installation was very tight.”

The eco-friendly solar panels work continuously during weekends and school holidays saving schools thousands of pounds in energy bills every year. Anesco will also provide several TVs displaying how much power has been generated every day.

Stephen Jackson, Estates Manager at The Angmering School, said working with West Sussex County Council and Anesco had been a pleasure.

He added: “We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and, along with the financial gains, there are also many educational benefits.”

For more information about renewable energy support offered by West Sussex County Council contact: carbonmanagement@westsussex.gov.uk  Alternatively, to find out more about solar panel installations, visit: www.anesco.co.uk