Dovecote Primary School in Clifton, Nottingham has received over 200 solar panels thanks to Nottingham County Council’s solar scheme. The solar system is estimated to provide the school with around 36,000kWh of electricity per year, slashing £3000 of the school’s current electricity bill. It is believed that Dovecote Primary’s system is one of the largest publicly owned arrays in Nottingham.

Nottingham City Council's Portfolio Holder for Energy, Councillor Alan Clark, said: “I am delighted that the first scheme to benefit is a school building because by instilling the right attitudes now, young people will grow up furnished with the necessary knowledge to make better informed decisions in the future. What pupils learn at school will be communicated to their families and will hopefully have a positive impact in the wider local community.”

The installation was completed by FSG Energy in just seven days, narrowly beating the December 12 deadline. Clark said: “Despite the Government's decision to cut the feed-in tariffs after December 12, we have pushed ahead with our plans to fit as many panels as we can on appropriate buildings. Not only will the occupiers benefit from the cuts in their bills, but the money we get back from the feed-in tariffs will be re-invested in other energy efficiency initiatives in the future.”

The solar panels at Dovecote Primary have been installed through the Council's Commercial PV Framework which includes five companies that specialise in the installation of solar panels. FSG Energy has used three contractors and four labourers with a Nottingham City or Nottinghamshire postcode on the Dovecote Primary project. This has provided 58 days work for local people and directly injected approximately £14,500 into the local economy.

Clark explained: “This is the latest example of the city wide approach that is being taken to carbon reduction in Nottingham. This project follows the successful installation of solar panels on council houses and will further secure our position as the most energy self-sufficient city in the UK.

 “We expect these panels at Dovecote to generate approximately £13,000 for the Council in the first 12 months. We will re-evaluate the situation after 12 December but remain hopeful that we can continue with our plans to install solar panels on council buildings in 2012.”

The Dovecote Primary School project follows the installation of solar panels on approximately 600 council houses in Aspley and Broxtowe, designed to save tenants up to £120 a year and also provide local people with real jobs and hands-on training opportunities.