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Straidhavern Primary School Switches onto Solar!

Tuesday 4 Mar 08

Straidhavern Primary School in Crumlin 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 installed solar photovoltaic panels (PV) on the south facing roof at the front of the school. The 3kWp system, which was funded by Northern Ireland Electricity’s Smart programme and the North Eastern Education and Library Board, will produce up to 2400 units of electricity each year, a saving of around £250 on the school’s energy bills.

Delta Hamilton, NIE Energy, says there is great potential for solar power in Northern Ireland and is delighted Straidhavern Primary School has switched onto solar. While visiting the school this week to see the new solar technology, Delta said, “Renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies have the potential to substantially reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted, helping to prevent climate change.  
“This 3kWp system will substantially reduce the carbon dioxide emitted into the local environment by around 1.5 tonnes. In recent years schools 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 Clarke 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 Straidhavern Primary School safeguarding the future of our pupils is paramount, and replacing energy generated by 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 solar panels 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 CO2 emissions and has been introducing 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 burning of fossil fuels with solar power to provide electricity. The schools benefit environmentally through a reduction in CO2 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.