Bad news abounds in the British press with daily economic doom and gloom stories painting a grim picture of the public sector with key areas such as education set to struggle as purse strings are tightened. However, good news at last as Solarcentury and GE announce their Solar4Schools programme, a scheme designed to make solar energy affordable for UK schools.

The Solar4Schools project will see GE Capital cover the installation costs of solar panels with average costs of £16,000 for a secondary school being paid off after just 15 years, utilizing the feed-in tariff mechanism. GE Capital’s investment means that schools only have to foot the deposit for the installation but can subsequently make significant savings on their energy bills as the panels begin to generate power.

The real benefit for schools comes once the initial cost of the installation is paid off. The feed-in tariff works by paying premium rates for the energy generated by small renewable projects meaning that schools will be able to enjoy a constant revenue stream from the energy generated by the panels over the projects 25 year lifespan.

CEO of Solarcentury Derry Newman stated,

“We’re delighted GE is helping roll Solar4Schools out on a larger scale. As local authorities face budget cuts, this is an opportunity for them to create a long term revenue stream.”

Certainly, with 250 schools already benefiting from a scheme which could see potential savings of £840 pa on bills and generating up to £3000 in revenue, the Solar4Schools project is already proving a success.

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