Adding to the rising number of community energy projects in the UK, Nayland Primary School has unveiled its 15.54kW solar installation in Suffolk. Made possible by the Green Energy Nayland scheme, the school will now benefit from free electricity and bill savings for over 25 years.

Consisting of 84 solar panels, the rooftop project went up without costing the school a penny. Green Energy Nayland, which was formed to generate renewable energy in and for the benefit of the local community, invested £38,500 into the project, which was also supported by a £9,500 grant from The Suffolk Foundation. Community members will now receive an annual return on their investment through the feed-in tariff mechanism.

Will Hitchcock, Director of Green Energy Nayland said, “We are absolutely delighted that our first venture has been a success. This is a pioneering project – one of the first of its type in the whole country – so although we knew it was a great idea it is fantastic that the community has got behind us. We have had so much local support from Suffolk County Council, The Suffolk Foundation, the wholesaler Senate Electrical, local installers Lock Electrical and Nayland School – and of course our member investors.”

Raegan Delaney, Head Teacher at Nayland Primary School said, “This is a really exciting day for Nayland Primary School. We are extremely pleased to be involved in such an important project. From the start the pupils have been behind the idea of solar panels – we have a great Eco Team of students who promote environmental awareness within the school – we often find that it is the children educating the parents when it comes to these issues!”

Councillor Judy Terry, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Greenest County, said, “This is such an excellent project, showing how communities working together can achieve something truly special. It is a win-win situation, both for the local school but also for the community. Green Energy Nayland now hopes to repeat the success by using community investment to fund renewable energy systems on other community buildings within Nayland and the surrounding area.”

Green Energy Nayland is an Industrial and Provident Society. Its objectives are to enable the generation of renewable energy in and for the benefit of the community of Nayland through promoting, funding, installing and operating renewable energy systems.