This year sees The Bulmershe School’s catering get a little bit greener with the installation of new solar panels across the roof of the building in which the kitchen is based.
The 131 new panels, which replace older and less efficient versions, could generate up to 49kw per hour at maximum capacity, that’s enough green energy to power much of the equipment the kitchen uses each day.
Since the panels were installed during the summer holidays, the array has already generated nearly 10,500 kWh of green electricity, the equivalent of powering an average family house for 350 days. The panels have also saved the equivalent of 2.65 tonnes of carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere compared to using fossil fuels.
“Projects like this are fantastic for Wokingham Borough and it’s residents.” Said Cllr Gregor Murray, executive member for resident services, communications and emissions. “Not only does it help us tackle the climate emergency by lowering carbon emissions, it also help us reduce costs for powering our schools in the longer term as well as making them more self-sufficient.
“The past months have shown us just how vulnerable our energy market is to external forces with increased global demand and disruption to the supply network causing prices to skyrocket. By supporting our properties to generate renewable power on site and moving them to low energy options like LED lighting, we can help them offset these risks, giving them much greater control over forecasting costs and managing their budgets.”
Alongside the new solar panels the council is also installing a new battery system, meaning power generated by the panels can be stored and used by the school at the times it required most rather than just during the day when the sun is out.
And there is even better news as the original solar panels removed from the school won’t go to waste, with the council currently storing them ready to reuse for new, lower power demand, projects in places such as the country parks.
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