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Biomass and heat pumps in school pilots

The Co-operative is extending its £1 million renewable energy programme for schools to biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps and wind turbines.

The installations will be part of the Green Energy for Schools initiative which will also see Co-op install photovoltaic solar panels on 60 schools.

The solar panels will be installed through an ongoing partnership with Solarcentury. New partnerships have been established with Sundog Energy for the installation of wind turbines and RES Heat and Power to cover biomass and ground source heat pump systems.

Patrick Allen, Director of Marketing at the Co-op, said: We believe that solar panels and wind turbines at a school make a huge climate change statement to children, teachers and parents and they play a major part in the delivery of the curriculum.

“Not only are they highly visible symbols of the solutions available to tackle the problem, they also generate electricity and help reduce a school’s carbon footprint.

“We have shown that it is practical and cost effective, and if other businesses followed our lead every school could have some form of green energy in 12 years time”.

The Co-op has already spent £1mill fitting solar photovoltaic panel systems at 100 schools and the new Green Energy for Schools initiative earmarks another £1mill for installations.

Under the  scheme the £20,000 solar panel systems are half funded through the Government’s Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) with the Co-op financing the other 50 per cent.

Each solar system will generate more than 3,400 units of electricity, powering over 18 computers, or 34 thousand hours of computer use, at each school every year.

The schools for taking part in the biomass, wind turbine and ground source heat pump pilot schemes have already been selected, but the Co-op is still looking for another 60 schools to support with fully funded solar panels.

Nominations from imembers, must be received by 5 November.

Full details on the scheme and how to apply are available at:

Picture shows school children from Peacehaven Community School in East Sussex celebrating the installation of solar panels through the partnership between the Co-op and Solarcentury