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Damhead Primary School Switches onto Solar!

Monday 7 Jan 08

Damhead Primary School will be ordering its energy sunny side up from now on! The environmentally aware school is celebrating the completion of its latest energy project, having insatlled solar photovoltaic panels (PV) on the south facing roof at the front of the school. The 5kWp system, which was funded by Northern Ireland Electricity's Smart programme and the North Eastern Education and Library Board, will produce over 4000 units of electricity each year, a saving of around £400 on the school's energy bills.

Janine Brady, NIE Energy, says there is great potential for solar power in Northern Ireland and is delighted Damhead Primary School has switched onto solar. While visiting the school this week to see the new solar technology, Janine said, "Renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies have the potential to substantially reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide (C02) emitted, helping to prevent climate change.

This 5kWp system will substantailly reduce the carbon dioxide emitted into the local environment by around 2.5 tonnes. In recent years schoosl have become enthusiastic adopters of renewable energy, demonstrating a range of sustainable energy solutions such as solar, wind, biomass and geothermal. We look forward to continuing our work with the Education Boards to promote renewable energy alternatives in schools throughout Northern Ireland."

Principal Mrs Reilly says this is an ideal opportunity not only to save on energy costs but also to educate the pupils about their ongoing responsibilities to the environment. "At Damhead Primary School safeguarding the future of our pupils is paramount, and replacing energy generated fossil fuels with solar power makes very good sense. We are always looking for new ways to protect the local environment and the installation of PV at the school is a constant reminder to the pupils, teachers and parents that we can all play a part in protecting our future."

Robert McCreery, Energy and Environmental Officer for the North Eastern Education and Library Board says the Board is committed to reducing C02 emissions and has been introducing the renewable energy technologies where possible in properties throughout the area. "With the valuable support this year from NIE, we have installed solar panels at five schools in the North Eastern area. The Board is doing something positive for the environment by substituting the burnnh of fossil fuels with solar power to provide electricity. The schools benefit environmentally through a reduction in C02 emissions and they will also see savings on annual energy costs."

To find out more about saving energy and renewable energy solutions for your home, school or business check out the NIE Energy website www.nie-yourenergy.co.uk, the EST website www.est.org.uk, or call the Energy Saving Trust on freephone 0800 512 012.