Brynmawr school goes solar

Solar panels with the capacity to provide 60kw of power have been installed at Brynmawr Foundation School.

Egni Coop have just completed work on what is its first install on a school in the Heads of the Valleys.

Gerard McNamara, Head-teacher at the school said:

“Brynmawr takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. Pupils are very passionate to reduce the school’s environmental impact. We are delighted that the school has been able to reduce its carbon footprint and work in partnership with a Welsh Coop to install solar energy to reduce our environmental impact. We understand that the solar panels will generate over 50,000kWh per year – and this will have a carbon saving of 18 tonnes of CO2.

We are also very interested to analyse the generated data on the solar web portal in our lessons, and assess how different weather affects the amount of energy that the solar panels produce. The school will also receive £500 of free shares in the Coop, earning the school an income stream and we can use this in our work on entrepreneurship education with the pupils. It’s a great opportunity to understand how the coop business model works and for pupils to attend Egni’s AGM and other events if they wish, participating in the Coop’s governance.”

The school will also benefit from a below market cost for every unit of energy used from the renewable energy rather than non-renewable sources.

Ruby, Year 11, from the School’s Eco-Committee commented:

“We are really interested to work out how much electricity the solar panels will generate. Not only is the school saving money, but we are also saving the environment.”

Egni Director, Rosie Gillam commented:

“We’d like to thank the pupils for their enthusiasm throughout the project and to the staff for facilitating the install. We are developing a range of educational materials and look forward to coming back to Brynmawr Foundation School to undertake some lessons with the pupils, to explain how the technology works and inspire some future solar engineers hopefully!”

Councillor Joanne Collins, Blaenau Gwent Council’s Executive Member for Education says:

“As a Council we are planning to reduce our carbon footprint and become a lower carbon borough, and I know we will be working closely with our schools on this important piece of work. It’s vital that everyone works together to protect our environment, so I am delighted that one of our schools has taken the initiative to introduce renewable energy and look forward to them enjoying the benefits it will bring.”