Parliamentary candidate Helen Whately, former MP of Faversham and Mid-Kent and who is standing again in the upcoming election, is visiting our school on 22nd November to help raise awareness of our solar project!
School Solar Project
"Let The Sunshine Shine On Us!"
As a school, we have recently started to explore the option of installing solar panels onto the roof of the school in order to reduce our carbon footprint and the impact that our school has on the local community and the environment as a whole.
Solar panels are a source of renewable energy and do not release greenhouse gases. They are therefore becoming a popular option for renewable energy. The process of converting sunlight to electrical energy has improved hugely over the last few decades and is now more efficient than ever. The use of solar energy in small devices, such as calculators, has been around for a long time the process is now being used to power houses and businesses on an increasing scale.
Did you know that rays from the sun can produce around 1000 watts of energy for every square meter of the Earth's surface? By collecting that energy the demand on fossil fuels is dramatically reduced. Our school hopes to achieve this, therefore reducing our carbon footprint and impact on the environment.
Each solar panel contains many different silicon or solar cells, the "building blocks" of solar panels. These cells absorb the energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. This is done when the sunlight is converted in Direct Current (DC) electricity by the silicon and the conductors within the solar panel - this electricity then flows into an invertor which, in turn, concerts DC to AC (alternating current) electrical power which can then be used at school. In addition, any excess electricity that is not used is fed back to the grid and can provide a small income.
The roof of our school has been identified as a suitable area to accommodate solar panels. This is great news; as a green school we are constantly looking for ways to reduce our impact on both the local community and the environment as a whole. Our solar aspirations make for an exciting new project that we hope will achieve support from families with children at our school, individuals and groups from the surrounding local area, as well as business and those from further afield.
We anticipate the cost of this solar project to be around £42,000 and are currently exploring funding avenues that will enable us to secure this money. On 18th November, we will be launching a campaign through Crowdfunder which we hope will attract a large amount of support. We will be contacting individuals, families, and businesses both big and small, in the hope that we can raise a large proportion of the required funds in this way. The school will also be applying for a range of grants to make up any shortfall, so that we can reach our target of becoming a zero bill eco school.
Why Do We Want This?
We are a green school and constantly looking for new ways to lead our school community towards a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable future. Our school is committed to recycling, upcycling, the reduction of waste, and re-using resources where at all possible. Our project, "Let The Sunshine Shine On Us" reflects our simple goal, and will enable us to reduce our demand on fossil fuels and instead use energy from sunlight to generate electricity to power our school. Our pupils are educated and encouraged to understand that they, as individuals, can make a difference by making smart choices that consider the impact of a particular activity on the environment.
Where learning and play are both powered by the sunshine!
By using renewable energy to power our school, we can rest assured that the consistent source of this energy, the sun, won’t run out resulting in a greener educational space for our current pupils, and those in years to come. Clean energy for a bright future; something our school wants for each and every pupil that shares our journey.
Thanks to an amazing £5,000 pledge from local management services company Envirotec to kick off our campaign, our fundraising thermometer has been updated to reflect the 13% of funds currently raised out of the £42,000 required.
Please watch this space for further updates about how our fundraising campaign is going and how much money we have raised, to date, towards the total amount required to install solar panels at our school!