An academy chain will install solar panels on 17 Bradford schools in a bid to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
The work across the District is expected to prevent 390 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year, as well as reduce the school’s energy bills.
The Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust has begun installing solar panels on 17 of its schools as part of the sustainability campaign – and it is hoped work will be completed by Spring.
Several planning applications for the installation of hundreds of solar panels on the roofs of Bradford schools have been submitted and approved in the past two months.
The project is being completed in partnership with Solar for Schools, a non-profit nationwide organisation working with more than 200 schools to reduce carbon emissions.
Two of the Trust’s academies – Clayton St John on Bradford Road and The Academy at St James on Chelwood Drive, Allerton, have already begun solar panel installation earlier this month.
The remaining schools will start installations over the course of this term with the aim of all schools having solar panels by April.
The solar panels will be capable of generating between 25 and 490 kilowatts of energy, depending on the capacity of the panels in each school, for a total of 2,255 kilowatts across the whole trust. The Trust says the maximum efficiency The Academy at St James’ panels will be able to generate is 135 kilowatts of energy which would account for 60 per cent of the school’s annual electricity usage and save 26 tonnes of CO2 per year.
A spokesman said: “This will both help the planet as well as reduce energy costs. The money saved will then be reinvested back into the education provision at each school.”
As part of the programme, pupils across the Trust will learn firsthand about solar renewable energy. This will include live online updates showcasing how much energy is being generated at each school each week in addition to live-streamed maintenance visits for pupils to watch and learn as the panels on their school are serviced.
Pupils will also benefit from solar-themed assemblies, workshops and classroom projects designed to explore solar energy.
Carol Dewhurst, Chief Executive at Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust, said: “I am thrilled to see our solar panels being installed across our schools this term, which is just one piece of the puzzle in our mission towards net-zero.
“Together, each of our academies has made the commitment to become Eco-Schools and I am so proud to be leading a Trust that is working to better our planet whilst teaching pupils the importance of sustainability.”
Ann Flaherty, UK Director at Solar for Schools, said: “Getting solar onto school roofs empowers students. It helps them realise they can do something locally to reduce carbon, and that’s helping nationally to meet targets, which helps to globally reduce our emissions. By working closely with the schools, we’re empowering young people to explore these ideas and have a say in their future and in what it’s going to look like.”