More and more schools in the UK are ‘going solar’. Joju Solar have helped more than 80 schools so far, right across the country, with solar PV (photovoltaic) systems, LED lighting solutions and battery storage set-ups. This not only provides schools with a way to lower their energy bills and shrink their carbon footprint, but it also gives them the perfect opportunity to educate the next generation about the environment, the power of the sun, how renewable energy is generated and how all of the technology works. ‘Going solar’ can even help earn solar schools, and their communities, an income from the installed renewable energy system.
Our interactive infographic shows some of the different ways in which solar PV, energy storage batteries, electric vehicle (EV) charging and LED lighting can work in a school setup, and the difference that green energy can make to whole communities when they get involved.
When a school has their own solar PV installation, it puts them in the position of having a fantastic tool for teaching pupils in a hands-on and relatable way about a number of different subjects. The way that the energy is being generated and used by the school can be incorporated into lessons including physics, maths, geography, economics, politics and citizenship.
As well as the technical ‘how it works’ information, pupils at primary or secondary level can also explore wider renewable energy topics, learn about climate change and how individuals and communities can take responsibility for their own carbon footprints.
Many schools are ideally set up for solar installations, purely because they have large expanses of roof-space on their buildings which can support enough panels to generate a significant amount of electricity. Solar PV systems can be installed onto pitched roofs, flat roofs and even living/green roofs. Large sports halls with metal roofs are the perfect place for solar panels due to their size and ease of installation. Schools with planned roof work in the pipeline can usually integrate the solar installation at the same time, minimising disruption.
School solar, battery, EV charging and LED lighting installations are usually be carried out during school holidays or half-terms, although we can coordinate term-time works if this can be done safely. At Joju Solar, we always work with schools to ensure the quickest and most hassle-free installations possible.
When it comes to funding the solar PV systems, many solar schools that we’ve worked with don’t initially have the budget for this, which is where the community gets involved. Through community funding from local groups and individuals, the solar PV system and installation costs can be covered meaning lower running costs for the school at zero capital outlay. Those who have invested can even earn a modest return where the UK government’s feed-in tariff I returned to the shareholder investors.