Scottish installer Campbell & Kennedy (C&K) has completed the first tranche of a solar PV installation project across two academy trusts which forms part of a multi-million-pound energy saving scheme.

The installs, completed on eight schools owned by the two trusts, total around 1,800 panels and have a combined capacity of more than 500KWp.

The installs were financed via a loan secured via the Education and Skills Funding Agency, which launched the Multi-Academy Trust Loans Pilot Project in 2015 as a means of allowing academy trusts to band together to procure financing for specific projects on their estates.

The pilot project saw Brooke Weston Academies Trust and Ormiston Academies Trust collaborate alongside EO Consulting in a bid to assess any long-term strategic difference the funding approach may have on their respective estates.

Both trusts were spending around £2.7 million each year on energy, while a £1 million, five-year lighting replacement programme was also required. This resulted in a wide-scale energy efficiency programme designed specifically to address the lighting replacement, but also reduce energy bills and CO2 emissions.

The energy efficiency programme was used to secure a loan for the installation of various technologies, which is then repaid via the savings the academy trusts make on their energy bills and any additional revenue such as the feed-in tariff.

Campbell & Kennedy secured the solar installation through a competitive tender hosted on the YPO Low Carbon Electrical Micro-generation framework. Further solar installs are expected to take place in the future.

This deployment, alongside other savings, has resulted in the trusts paying an equivalent of 5.2p/kWh for electricity generated by the solar installations over their 25-year life expectancy, saving more than £1 million.

Gerry Kennedy, managing director at Campbell & Kennedy, said: “This project has been a perfect example of tried and tested technologies and processes being used to create environmental benefits for the next and future generations. As we all know budgets are tight in the public sector and this is where we see projects like this this playing a crucial role to create further income streams.”