It has taken many years of frustrating failure. We are now on our third effort to equip our village primary school with solar panels. Now it is finally going to happen. We are working with Ineco Energy, a company that specialises in school solar installations using SALIX funding. SALIX is a government fund offering interest free loans to local authorities and schools. Solar panels were not initially included in the eligible projects but this changed a while ago. We are taking advantage of this to put 12kW of panels on the roof this Friday February 22nd. The projections, which are quite conservative, estimate that the the scheme will be cash positive for the school in the first year with the loan being paid back within 7 or 8 years. Thereafter the school will gain financially to the tune of £2,000 or more. We would have liked a larger array but the engineer’s report showed that the flat roof that would have carried many of the panels was not structurally sound enough.
Ineco did most of the work for us but the final key to unlocking the project and allowing it to proceed was landlord’s consent. The landlord in our case, as with many local schools, is Warwickshire County Council. We were desperate to get the scheme installed and registered before the deadline for the end of FiT and generation payments on 31st March 2019. With time pressure building the County finally granted permission yesterday and we also now have agreement to the scheme from our DNO, Western Power Distribution. By next week the school could be generating its own energy.
One aim of the project is to enable the children to see via the in-house IT facility how the panels are performing in real time and historically over time.