Solar Power Case Studies

Silkmore Primary School

Silkmore Primary School officially launched its solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels with a fantastic afternoon of ‘hands on’, green science and technology.

The PV project was instigated by the ‘Your Environment Group’ as part of the Penkside Project and will provide many benefits to the school.

The solar panels will provide pollution free, renewable, green energy for the school, helping reduce electricity bills, as well as providing a very useful income from the Feed in Tariff. They will be a fantastic teaching facility for children, helping them learn about renewable energy, energy issues such as climate change - and encouraging energy conservation too.

The project aims to ‘showcase’ the benefits of solar energy to other schools in the Borough and provide a ‘this is how we did it’ guide for the many other schools in the area who have expressed an interest in renewable energy projects.

The initiative is a great example of partnership working, with several organisations and individuals helping bring it to fruition.  

Funding has come in part from ALSTOM Grid UK Limited and Grosvenor Power, with a contribution from Stafford Borough Council. The pay back period for the system is less than eight years.

The initiative has also involved the Stafford Area Community Solar Discount Scheme (SACS), a partnership project between Sustainability Matters, MEB Total Ltd and the Borough Council.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, who were active members of the ‘Your Environment Group’ led the children’s workshops. These involved making ‘solar boats’ (then racing them!), building ‘water wheels and windmills, and analysing real time data from the solar panels. The workshops were followed by a whole school ‘celebration assembly’ with parents, families, guests and sponsors.

St Peter's Church - Solar Power

St Peter’s Church has been a leading light when it comes to ‘being green’ and looking after our planet.  It has become wholeheartedly involved in a range of projects to care for the environment. 

St Peter’s had an energy audit carried out, which identified ways to save energy and reduce bills.  

As a result a heating control timer was fitted to the heating system and improvements to the insulation in the community centre roof were made.

Cycle parking has also been installed at the church and community centre to encourage people to cycle, and recently there have been several initiatives to promote wildlife, including children’s wildlife activity days where youngsters made bird feeders, built dens, made bird boxes, planted wildlife friendly plants, created insect homes and made a hedgehog box.

The most recent initiative has been the installation of a solar photo voltaic system on the roof, which will generate 7 kilowatts of electricity, helping reduce electricity bills, as well as providing an income from the Feed in Tariff. The panels will also be a prominent example of the commitment of the church to renewable, environmentally friendly forms of energy.

Solar Power at the Civic Centre and Riverway Nursery

Solar panels installed on the roof at the Civic Centre in August 2011 are proving their worth.

Contributing to electricity bills, and this plus the feed in tariff income, brought savings of more than £16,000 in the first year with reductions in CO2 exceeding 34 tons.

This is the first of two large scale solar PV schemes that the Council has installed on its premises, aiming to produce green, clean, sustainable power for many years to come.

As the sun shines down on Riverway Nursery, it not only makes the garden grow, but also keeps the lights on.
In May 2013, the Council’s Property Services team were asked to procure and project manage a Solar Panel Array to be located at Riverway Plant Nursery. After thorough research and investigation, the installation of a 198 panel solar photo-voltaic system was completed and started generating electricity in October 2013.

Based on weather averages it was estimated that the annual energy yield would be 44,041 kWh, with a peak production at any one time of 49kW per hour. The payback period is approximately 7 years - in other words it has nearly paid for itself.

All electricity generated after this time will be profit for the Council - or savings for the public purse! For the first year we received nearly £5,000 in Feed-in Tariff income and saved £2,760 off our annual bill.

It is estimated that over a 20 year period the total carbon reduction will be 325,000kg.

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