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Devizes Integrated Care Centre

Minchinhampton Primary School Solar Panel Scheme

  • System Size:

    51.59 kWp

  • Number of Solar Panels:

    154

  • Annual Output:

    49,130 kWh

  • Annual CO2 saving:

    29,463 kg


As Signatories of the Building Services Declare for the Climate Emergency, Method recognises the need to act on climate change and within the framework of our commitment to sustainability, our priority is to offset CO2 emissions through local projects with a tangible benefit.

In 2022 we were lucky to be given the opportunity to invest in a new community share offer to fund solar panels at Minchinhampton Church of England Primary Academy in Gloucester. With a share funding target of £70,000 needed to finance the project, Method was one of 57 contributors to the project and was pleased to be able to contribute £10,000 towards the funding.
The scheme led by the Gloucester Community Energy Co-operative (GCEC) (which is leasing the school’s roof space) is in partnership with the Diocese of Gloucester Academies Trust (which owns the school). Generating around 49,000 kWh per year, half the energy produced by the solar energy system will be used by the school with any extra electricity generated being sold to the local grid at a wholesale market price.

It’s expected that the scheme will reduce the school’s carbon footprint by around 9 tons annually and save hundreds in electricity bills. The investment will be repaid over 25 years through the sale of electricity, after which point the school will enjoy free energy.

Challenges

  • As the technical/engineering drawings for the roofs were not available, an in-roof solar system was adopted. This had the benefit of a better aesthetic but added to cost and marginally reduced generation
  • Because the school is in a conservation area, planning permission was required
  • Initially, the school hoped to secure an interest-free loan via the SALIX loan scheme, but this was unsuccessful

Benefits

  • Help to significantly reduce the school’s carbon footprint
  • Reduce the school’s electricity bills through a lower and more stable electricity tariff
  • A monitoring panel in the foyer of the school enables teachers to use the solar roof as an educational asset for learning about green energy generation