Taunton’s College has had a 3.92kWp solar PV system installed by Southern Solar as part of the continued refurbishment of the college science block. The solar array will not only reduce the college’s utility bills and lower its carbon emissions; it will also be used in science lessons to help improve students’ understanding of solar energy and the benefit of renewable energy generation.

The Hampshire-based sixth form college chose to work with local solar installer, Southern Solar after Ben Wade, Regional Manager of Southern Solar, was keen to engage with the students and explain how the system was installed, how the electricity is generated and how the green energy is fed back into the National Grid.

The 3.94kWp array consists of 16 Sharp panels. Taunton chose to utilise Welsh-manufactured Sharp panels, to support the UK solar manufacturing industry. The flat roof on Taunton’s science block provided the perfect installation space for the panels, which will save 1.76 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted every year.   

During term time, the solar installation will generate electricity that will be used by the college. During the holidays, when energy consumption drops, the college will sell the electricity back to the grid in return for an export tariff payment.

College Principal, Alice Wrighton, commented: “Taunton’s College is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. It was identified that one of the ways we could do this was by generating our own solar electricity. The fact that Southern Solar were keen to come and talk to our students about renewable energy provided us with a great reason to work with them on the installation which was completed quickly and with no problems.”

Southern Solar's Wade added: ” Not only will this installation at Taunton’s College help reduce energy bills, it is going to be incorporated into the lessons for budding scientists of the future – an area that Southern Solar are very committed to. We hope that by explaining the principles of solar generated energy to the students, it will encourage them to think of the benefits that it can provide, the wonders – and potential – of the technology – and the importance of sustainable energy as part of the UK's future.”