Skip to content Skip to footer

National Grid launches funding scheme to help schools install solar panels

National Grid has announced a funding programme aimed at assisting schools with the installation of solar panels.

National Grid has announced a funding programme aimed at assisting schools with the installation of solar panels. 

The initiative has been specifically targeted towards educational institutions in economically disadvantaged areas within South Wales, South West England, and the Midlands. It allocates £2.7 million in grants, and is part of National Grid’s five-year commitment to environmental stewardship and community support under its Social Contract scheme.

Ellie Patey, Community Engagement Manager at National Grid Electricity Distribution, stated, “This new fund aims to help more schools adopt solar power to decarbonise and to reduce energy costs. It’s also an important way to engage pupils in ways to reduce carbon and emissions.

“Working together with Solar for Schools means our grants can unlock significant financial and carbon savings, as well as educational benefits, over and above what could have been achieved working in isolation.”

The initiative has already seen success with the installation of solar systems at the Ark Victoria Academy and Ark Kings Academy in Birmingham. These installations have saved the schools approximately £3,500 in the past month alone, with projected savings expected to exceed £1.2 million over the panels’ operational lifespan. Furthermore, these systems are anticipated to reduce CO2 emissions by over 1,153 tonnes, which is akin to removing 260 fossil-fuelled cars from the road for a year.

The programme also incorporates an educational aspect, engaging approximately 2,000 students from the two schools in various workshops and activities that integrate topics of energy, sustainability, and economics into the STEM curriculum.

Ann Flaherty, UK Director at Solar for Schools, commented, “Our education programme links the solar on the roof with the curriculum in the classroom. We always say, learn from your school buildings, not just inside them. By getting solar on the roofs of schools we’re empowering students and helping them see they can do something locally to reduce carbon, that helps nationally to meet targets, and that’s globally helping to reduce our emissions.”

Bryan Knope, Head of Estates for Ark Schools, expressed satisfaction with the funding received, adding, “We’re delighted to have received this National Grid funding and to be working with Solar for Schools to install photovoltaic panels at our schools in Birmingham, London, and Hastings. Reducing CO2 emissions is a top priority for Ark. We’ve set ourselves a tough target to cut consumption by 20% this year, and solar is one of the tools Ark is using to improve sustainability.”

The funding from National Grid is expected to deliver approximately £10 million worth of solar projects. Robert Schrimpff, CEO of Solar for Schools, added, “We hope that other companies will follow National Grid’s example to drive impactful change and decarbonisation.”Schools interested in applying for the grants can find more information and register their interest can do so here.

Top Stories

Stay In The Know

Sign up to receive the Electrical Review Newsletter, the Digital Issue of the Electrical Review Magazine and be the first to hear about the latest events from us.