After local Sustainable Parish Energy Partnership group, eCoton, organised a bulk purchase of solar PV modules last year, Cambridge-based solar installer Upbeat energy was able to offer a free solar PV system to a local school as a gift. Unfortunately, the school wasn’t able to install the system so eCoton began to search for another school to install the array on.

Oakington C of E Primary School is an Eco School who are striving to achieve the Silver Eco Schools Award. A parent who is a member of the school’s Eco Committee made Haedteacher, Sally Daggianti, aware of Upbeat's offer of a free solar PV system, and the school expressed its interest. All in all, 15 community groups registered interest in the solar array. However, the sustainable ethos of the school saw it selected ahead of the other candidates.   

Welcoming the solar installation, Daggianti said: “As an Eco School this is important to us particularly as our Action Plan focus for next term is on energy and the children will be able to learn at first hand about the benefits of using solar power and find out how a PV system works.

She added: “As a church school it is also important that we make the best use as possible of the resources we have been given. The school will own the PV and receive the FiTs just as if it had bought the system itself. We are very grateful to Upbeat Energy for the gift.”

The first call of action for the school is to develop a focus on energy and how it is created. The school hopes that the installation of the solar array will help the children learn first hand about the benefits of using solar power and how solar PV systems work.

As well as making a significant contribution to slashing the school’s carbon footprint the solar array should also help provide the school with a significant financial benefits thanks to electricity bill savings and FiT revenue.

Upbeat energy commented that it was “extremely happy to see so many happy people when the system was switched on.”