Rye school’s solar panels supported by environmental fund

Rye Studio
Rye Studio

An initiative to help schools become greener has found its first project –new solar panels at Rye Studio.

The directors of Rye Academy Trust are setting up an environmental fund that will help the schools meet the challenges of climate change and enhance and protect the environment.

Trust chairman Jacqui Lait said the fund will help students engage in the problems facing the environment.

“I welcome the initiative to set up the environmental fund and hope it will provide a challenge to our students to think positively about our carbon footprint,” she said.

The fund has already had some support from residents and as a result the first project is under way – the installation of solar panels on the sloping south-facing roof of Rye Studio.

Beba Energy is installing 38 panels, each rated at 260 watts, so the roof will be able to generate up to 9.88 Kw of electricity.

The panels cost £17,000 and, although the cost has been underwritten, more financial support would be welcome, according to the trust.

The school will save about £1,000 a year in electricity charges because of the panels and they will also earn about £1,000 a year in subsidy payments.

The subsidy, known as Feed in Tariff, which will be paid for the next 20 years, will be added to the Environmental Fund to help pay for more projects.

A working group will be set up to decide which projects could be supported and students will be involved from the beginning.

Future projects for the fund to support could include: monitoring energy and water use, energy and water saving, reducing the waste from the school and increasing recycling, improving cycling facilities, or making and fixing nesting boxes in the area.

Glenleigh Park Primary School in Bexhill has solar panels installed in June and head teacher Deborah Redman was all for them at the time.

“I’m thrilled with the installation of the solar panels. This not only saves the school money but helps children to understand practical ways to reduce our impact on the environment,” she said.

If you are interested in supporting the fund or would like to know more, contact the director of estates at Rye Academy Trust Bernard Thomson on 01797 222545 or by email at .

Alternatively you can contact Christopher Strangeways who is helping to set up the environmental projects.

Christoper can be contacted on 01797 280226 or by email at .

There is a website in development at www.ryestudioschool.co.uk/e-fund.

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