Solar system could be yours

20th July 2012 at 01:00
Energy-saving roof panels worth pound;10,000 are up for grabs. Julia Belgutay shines a light on the competition

Primary pupils in Lanarkshire are invited to take part in a competition that could see them win thousands of pounds worth of solar panels for their school. The winning school could then generate its own green energy, helping to save hundreds of pounds every year.

A roof system with 16 solar panels - worth pound;10,000 - and the chance to save a further pound;20,000 over 25 years, which the school could spend on green projects and school trips, are up for grabs in the pilot competition run by New Lanark-based solar energy firm Renewable Resources.

The company is hoping the competition will teach primary pupils about renewable energy. If the pilot is deemed a success, a Scotland-wide competition could take place next year.

Pupils can apply in groups or individually by writing a story, drawing a picture, designing a poster or submitting a group exercise, explaining why they want their school to win. The deadline is 28 September.

According to Renewable Resources, the solar panels would "earn" the winning school an average of pound;900 per year - a combination of savings on energy bills and money raised by selling the excess electricity. Any electricity not used by the school during the day, as well as all electricity generated when it is closed, would be sold to the national grid, thereby adding to school funds.

The winning school would also be eligible for "feed in tariffs", annual payments from the government for using renewable energy.

John Devlin, managing director of Renewable Resources, said: "We are doing this because we want to educate young people about alternative fuel and greener sources of energy which helps the environment. Renewable energy is the way of the future. Not only is it much cheaper than traditional sources of fuel, but it is a much cleaner way of providing power."

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