Free Solar PV for UK schools

Gareth Williams Head of Project & Business Development at Eden Sustainable Ltd (Eden) reports that the leading Sustainable Investment and development managers are delighted to be partnering with Warneford Consulting in order to ensure more academy schools are aware of what funding is available, for the free life-time installation and maintenance of Solar PV across their school building’s roof tops.

Building on Tim’s academy sector knowhow and reputation, Eden and Ecosphere (one of their experienced channel partners ) are looking to assist schools make considerable energy cost savings and reduce their carbon emissions.

Each party brings something unique to the partnership and collectively aim to enhance the client experience through excellent engagement, competitive rates and a first class project delivery.

The offer comes at no cost whatsoever to the trust, who effectively allow Eden to use their roof space. Eden will develop, fund, install and maintain the Solar PV system for the full duration of the contract term and then gift the asset to the school.

A DfE compliant Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and lease are utilised   through which Eden use their unique funding structure to secure competitive clean energy rates for the agreed contract term.

This affords the trust, peace of mind through immediate and long term electricity cost savings, helps the trust reduce their carbon footprint and helps protect them from future spiraling energy costs.

The year on year electricity savings made by the trust can then be used to reinvest in their school estate.

All project costs are absorbed by Eden including:

  • Roof Survey to ensure the structure is suitable to support the installation
  • All Planning and Distribution Network Operator Applications
  • Installation of the Solar PV System
  • Maintenance and Servicing
  • All insurance costs
  • DfE liaison and consen

To commence feasibility assessment the trust simply need to supply a current electricity bill and 12 months half hourly data (if available) from which Eden can calculate their bespoke offer to the trust.

Each of the three partners have considerable experience in structuring funding and delivering projects on behalf of their school clients.

Tim Warneford has worked with stand alone academies, multi academy trusts and church dioceses, accessing government funding streams and attracting inward investment from supply chain partners to help provide additional revenue for academy clients.

Eden Sustainable have a gained an increasing footprint across the academy sector.  In 2016 Eden funded what they understand is still the largest solar school in the UK at Wellacre Academy, and are currently delivering a portfolio of Solar PV projects on behalf of the Oasis Community Learning (OCL). OCL are one of the largest multi academy trusts in the country with 52 schools.

In conjunction with this programme, Eden are part of OCL’s flagship Sustainability Working Group.  Eden and OCL were recently part of the launch of a new Climate Emergency in Education Act at the House of Commons and are also liasing with the DfE as they strive to design a framework for rolling our solar across the UK education sector.  Eden are committed to ensuring solar in schools is far more than just clean energy, but that the message of sustainable energy and the climate emergency is disseminated throughout the community and where possible, the syllabus.

Eden are part of a broader group which also has social housing, sustainable tourism, property and Greentech investments.  These businesses support The Pickwell Foundation, which makes donations to renewable energy and people displacement causes globally.

Ecosphere have installed over 4 megawatts of Solar PV during the past 10 years and delivered over 500 projects. Clients range from state schools via local authority frameworks such as Brighton Hove City Council (BHCC) and directly to academy schools.

The installation takes between 1-2 weeks and is carried out either out of term time or during term time at no disruption to the school’s day to day activities.

The wrap around offer includes:

  • Free Solar PV installation
  • Free maintenance of the installation for the duration of the project
  • Reduced electricity rates across the life-time of the installation
  • Bespoke Free Educational Packages
  • Option to fund other energy efficiency measures or capital inputs to support other bids
  • Each school will reduce their electricity costs and can use the savings to reinvest back in to their estate.
  • Trusts will help reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of renewable energy and contribute to a culture of climate change awareness.

The offer to each school is bespoke to their existing and future needs.

Why not listen to the Podcast that we recorded to explain the offer, the journey and pre-empt any questions of queries that you may have?


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