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Sun set to shine on Manchester schools

Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury and Chorlton Park Primary are expected to see solar panels installed on their roofs later this year with other schools across the city expected to join the project over the next few months.

The panels are predicted to generate around 190,000kw of green energy across both schools per year – the amount of electricity used by 10 UK households – and reduce more than 100 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

They are also expected to provide benefits of around £36,000 a year, either in electricity saved or energy which can be sold on to the National Grid – generating more money that can be reinvested into other Manchester projects.

The project is being launched as part of Manchester: A Certain Future, the city’s climate change action plan and as well as helping schools to reduce their energy consumption, the scheme will also be used as a tool to teach pupils about issues relating to climate change.

The plan – overseen by an independent steering group and involving businesses, residents and organisations such as both of the city’s universities – is also aimed at making more organisations and individuals think about how they can reduce carbon emissions.

Parrs Wood headteacher Andy Shakos said: "Thanks to the work of our student CO2 team the school is now much more efficient and ready for renewable sources of energy. Their work received recognition last term when the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, visited to be briefed by the team on how they achieved our current levels of energy efficiency and recycling.

"As a result of this the school is acting as a role model and the CO2 team recently organised our own Efficiency and Recycling Convention to give advice to other schools across Manchester. The team have also been looking into the feasibility of a solar installation at Parrs Wood, with the revenue it would generate increasing the educational support we provide for our most vulnerable pupils. We are pleased the council is considering supporting this as part of its climate change action plan."

Jo Sands, business manager at Chorlton Park Primary School, commented: "We're exploring opportunities to save energy across the whole of the school, and we see solar PV as a great way to engage our pupils and the community in learning about climate change and energy reduction."

Cllr Jeff Smith, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, added: "Manchester may be known to some as the ‘rainy city’ but these panels will generate electricity year-round, even during the cloudiest days.

"As well as helping these schools to save money from their budgets, they will also help us reduce carbon emissions across the city, while they are also a great way of helping young people think more about where the electricity they use comes from."


Information and images provided by Manchester City Council.