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Eco makeover for Ballyholme Primary School!

Monday 25 Feb 08

Ballyholme Primary School will be starting the new year with an eco makeover, thanks to funding to from Northern Ireland Electricity, the Low Carbon Buildings Fund and the South Eastern Education and Library Board. The school is the first in Northern Ireland to install a new system of roof tiles which act as solar panels, but look like an ordinary tiled roof.

The 6kWp C21e system was developed by Solarcentury, one of the UK's leading maufacturers of photovoltaics (solar panels). The system will generate around 5400 units of solar powered electricity every year, a saving of up to £580 on the school's energy bills. The system will also save over three tonnes of C02 being emitted into the local atmosphere.

Principal David Hewitt says the system was installed with minimum fuss, as part of the re-development programme. "At Ballyholme Primary School safeguarding the future of our pupils is paramount, and substituting solar power for fossil fuel use makes very good sense. We are constantly 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. We also have a wall-mounted display showing the energy and carbon savings we have achieved since installing the system. "

Delta Hamilton, NIE Energy, visited the school to see the new solar tiles in action. "We are delighted to support the first installation of the new C21e roof tiles at Ballyholme Primary School. The system was installed as part of the re-roofing work, saving the cost of 480 conventional roof-tiles. The tiles blend seamlessly with the rest of the roof and require no ongoing maintenance. With 65% funding currently available from NIE and the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, installing solar panels is more financially viable than ever before."

Billy Mills, Energy and Environmental Officer for the South Eastern Education and Library Board says the Board is committed to reducing C02 emissions and has been introducing renewable energy technologies where possible in properties throughout the Board area. "In recent years we have installed PV and solar water heating at schools and Outdoor Education Centres. We are delighted to be the first school in Northern Ireland to install this revolutionary new system.

"The Board is doing something positive for the environment by substituting the burning of fossil fuels with solar power to generate electricity which reduces CO2 emissions and will make considerable savings on our annual energy costs."

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