Nov 27 2009 by Stef Lach, Kilmarnock Standard
PUPILS at Nether Robertland Primary are doing their bit for the environment by switching to solar power.
The Stewarton school’s £20,000 panels were officially switched on this week thanks to funding from The Co-operative.
The children were joined by The Co-operative’s climate change character, Sunny Solar, at the big switch-on.
The rooftop panels are half-funded by The Co-operative’s £2million Green Energy for Schools scheme with match-funding from the government’s Low Carbon Building Programme.
The 420-pupil school is one of 80 across the UK chosen to receive funding for renewable energy technology as part of the second phase of the scheme.
Calum MacIver, manager of The Co-operative in the town’s Main Street, said: “This clean, silent technology will help educate Nether Robertland’s pupils about green energy as well as reducing the school’s reliance on fossil fuels.
“We hope the switch-on of these rooftop solar panels will send out a strong message about the urgent need to do what we can to tackle climate change.”
Schools were nominated for the project by Co-operative staff and members and SolarCentury, which installs the panels, then assessed for the suitability of their premises.
The 24 panels should generate around 3,300 kWh of electricity each year – enough to power a school computer for 33,000 hours or to make 180,000 cups of tea for thirsty teachers – saving around two tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Pupils can keep track of how much renewable energy the panels are generating and the amount of carbon dioxide they have saved to date by checking a monitor in the school building.
Pupils and staff have warmly welcomed their new rooftop solar panels.
Pupil Erica McKie, 10, said: “They are a beautiful sight to see.”
Said headteacher Shauna Adams: “We are proud to be among the schools leading the way on renewable energy through this generous Co-operative scheme.”