Plan to install 176 solar panels on primary school roof to help ‘decarbonisation journey’

Plans have been submitted to install 176 solar panels on a primary school roof as part of its “decarbonisation journey”.
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Ackworth Howard J&I is one of six Wakefield Council maintained schools chosen to take part in a £2m solar powered classrooms scheme.

A planning statement submitted to the local authority says the scheme will help create “responsible citizens for tomorrow’s world”.

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The document adds: “It is considered that the proposed solar panels would be complementary to the character of the school, depicting a sustainable and green future that the school wants to adopt.

Ackworth Howard J&I School, AckworthAckworth Howard J&I School, Ackworth
Ackworth Howard J&I School, Ackworth

“The panels enable the school to further improve its decarbonisation journey, teaching and learning how to live more sustainably.

“It is considered that the panels would have a positive impact on the character of the building and no overall detrimental impact on the surrounding area.”

The document says that some of the panels will be visible from nearby homes but will have an “anti-glare” coating.

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The statement adds: “The possibility of impact towards the residing neighbouring and adjacent land users from the proposed installation would be minuscule.”

The council signed up to the Solar for Schools (SfS) project in July last year as part its ambition to become carbon neutral.

It is hoped it could lead to an annual reduction of 456 tonnes of greenhouse gas.

Five other primary schools in the district have been chosen to take part in a pilot project from a short-list of 22.

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They are: Featherstone Purston St Thomas’, Hendal Primary, Moorthorpe Primary, Carlton J&I and Upton Primary.

The project involves SfS, a not-for-profit organisation, investing £2m if all 22 schools take part.

It would retain the rights to sell any surplus electricity to the national grid.

It is hoped more of the 140 local authority-maintained schools in the district will become involved over the next two years.

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The council has set itself a target of becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2030.

Installation of solar panels on school roofs or land would enable a direct feed of renewable electricity.

The council became involved in the project following a recommendation from West Yorkshire Combined Authority

SfS have worked with a number of schools and local authorities, including neighbouring Leeds City Council.