TWO schools are doing their bit for the environment by having solar panels fitted as part of a project with Portsmouth’s America’s Cup sailing team.
Northern Parade Junior and Infant Schools, in Hilsea, will see their carbon emissions reduced thanks to the equipment, which has an expected annual production of 64,754kWh – enough to power 21 homes.
The school has worked with renewable energy investment company Low Carbon and the 1851 Trust, the charity set up by Land Rover BAR, which is based at The Camber in Old Portsmouth.
Year 5 pupil Evie Jull, nine, said: ‘It’s good because it’s saving electricity and the sunlight comes into the solar panels to make it lighter and make it a greener school.
‘It shows that we are environmentally friendly.’
Executive headteacher Sue Wilson said it is good for the pupils to have a better understanding of renewable energy.
‘The future is theirs and they have got to look after this planet,’ she said. ‘We do quite a bit around the ecosystem and how they need to look after the planet for themselves and their future generations.’
Councillor Neill Young is in charge of children and education at Portsmouth City Council.
He said: ‘This is great news for the school and for the children. These solar panels will create a real opportunity to save a little bit of money but also the young people will learn more about how solar panels can support energy development.
‘Where possible we will be looking at schools that will benefit from adopting these solar panels.’
Sir Ben Ainslie, team principal and skipper of Land Rover BAR, said: ‘We hope this project will not only help Northern Parade Infant and Junior School deliver on its sustainability goals, but provide inspiration to schools across the country on the opportunities that renewable technology installations can bring to students, staff and the wider community.’
Roy Bedlow, chief executive and co-founder of Low Carbon and trustee of the 1851 Trust said: ‘Being part of this project presents a strong opportunity for us – to drive community involvement and engagement with renewables, and to educate the next generation as to benefits of renewable energy.’