Creating sustainable education facilities

Educational buildings are leading the future of sustainability through funded renewable energy schemes.

It is very likely that in future generations, 2019 will be remembered as the year where site sourced renewables such as solar photovoltaic (PV) became the most competitive form of energy generation for public buildings and education facilities. The importance of reducing our carbon footprint is also more and more evident, with the government recently introducing a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050 education facilities should be leading the way on how we can achieve this.

A school’s flat roof offers the ideal space for a solar PV array as the unobstructed area enables maximum exposure to sunlight, optimising energy generation. Solar panels on a flat roof are out of sight, simple to install and maintain, and thoroughly cost effective; particularly as there are various funding and investment streams available for solar PV projects meaning your school can benefit from the advantages of a PV array with no capital outlay.

Photovoltaic panels provide educational buildings with clean, renewable energy and practical learning opportunities to support the curriculum but more importantly, will generate significant financial savings and provide energy security. There are three main mechanisms that can be used to fund solar projects.

Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s)

Private funders offering a PPA solution enable property owners to take advantage of a fully installed PV system for zero capital outlay. The school enters into a long-term contract to purchase the electricity generated by the solar array from the private funder at a rate that is lower than their current purchase price and guaranteed for a fixed time period. PPA’s are attractive to education facilities as the array is owned and maintained by the funder meaning there is no maintenance requirement for the building owner and the school only pays for what they use ensuring they can never be out of pocket.

Community Funded PPA’s

Similar to a commercial PPA, but capital is raised to provide funds for the installation of the solar array through a community share offer. The school benefits from reduced energy costs, but the PV array is owned by the cooperative or community benefit society from whom the building owner purchases the electricity. Community PPA’s have the added benefit that all profits go back to the schools and the local community can invest in the system if they wish to.

Salix Finance

Salix enables public sector organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to take a lead in tackling climate change by increasing their energy efficiency. Salix provides 100% interest-free capital for the public sector to reduce their energy costs by enabling the installation of modern, energy efficient technologies and replacing dated, inefficient technologies. Repayment can be made over a four to eight-year period.

PROJECT STUDY – Sheringham High School

Sheringham High School is a secondary school with academy status located in Norfolk that underwent significant refurbishment to repair a number of its failing roofs. The client wanted the school’s campus to act as a benchmark for sustainability and therefore saw this as the perfect opportunity to achieve this with the addition of solar panels.

Following a comprehensive survey and installation of new waterproofing, the school had 150 BauderSOLAR PV modules fitted onto the roof by electrical installer Joju Solar. As a result of this PV install the school will be able to generate at least 34.61 Megawatt Hours of solar power each year, all without any capital expenditure or any disruptions to the school term. Funding for the solar PV array was provided through a community share offer, The Schools’ Energy Co-operative, ensuring both the school and the local community benefited financially from the solar installation whilst also providing clean renewable energy.

Bauder was the perfect choice for our flat roof refurbishment as they offered a high-quality waterproofing solution with a long-term guarantee. The inclusion of the PV system provided us with reduced installation costs by twinning the two projects. The construction was entirely trouble free; Bauder representatives regularly attended to inspect progress and they were totally in-tune with the unique issues presented by a working school environment. We are thrilled with our new roof and PV installation. It has protected teaching spaces for the long term and provided a valuable source of energy saving and potential income. We are committed to carbon reduction and our solar panels and the output display provide a useful tool for teaching and learning.

Andrew Richardson, Executive Headteacher, Sheringham High School

Bauder provides a full service from funding application support through to system installation, whether you are looking to retrofit solar PV panels or incorporate renewable energy into your flat roof refurbishment project.
Book a meeting today to start planning your solar PV project. Call us now or visit our website for more information.

0845 2718800