In 2015 we worked with local school Robert Blair Solar, helping them raise over £12,000 to put solar panels on their roof . The community and business-sponsored panels are now generating income for the school as well as providing a fantastic educational resource for the school’s 280 pupils.
Run by the national charity 10:10, the Solar Schools project is putting clean energy in classrooms all over the country. Schools set a fundraising target for their very own solar roof, then everyone chips in to help make it happen. It’s a chance for pupils, parents, local businesses, former students and everyone else to do something good for their school, their community, and the whole world.
Back in November 2014 the Robert Blair Solar Schools campaign set itself a target of £10,000 to put a 4 kw installation on the roof. Because the school own the panels outright they will receive the government’s ‘Feed In Tariff’ (FIT) for the electricity they generate as well as benefiting from the free electricity. It’s estimated the school will be £1,000 better off each year through the FIT income and electricity savings and that’s money that can be put towards additional school resources.
Islington Sustainable Energy Partnership members including local architects Bennetts Associates, law firm Slaughter & May and network services company Level 3 Communications quickly got behind the campaign as sponsors, donating money and running fundraising events like the (very popular!) Solar Schools ISEP quiz. Local people from across the community donated money via the Solar Schools Robert Blair Primary crowdfunding page and the school’s pupils worked incredibly hard on their own fundraising events running a whole host of cake sales, film nights and talent shows.
By July 2015 the school had exceeded their target with a final figure of over £12,000 raised from businesses and the local school community. In November the panels were installed by local solar installer Joju Solar and started generating clean energy to light classrooms. The pupils love the panels which overlook their roof-top playground, the teachers are already looking at how they can incorporate the panels as a teaching resource within the curriculum, and the extra income the panels generate will enable the school to purchase resources and fund a school trip. ISEP will continue to support the school on energy efficiency to ensure it makes the most of the energy generated by the panels and we look forward to hearing all about the school’s energy generation results over the next year.
If you’d like to support a similar community energy project in Islington do get in touch with the ISEP team.