Essex Schools Solar Panel Installations
Mitie has supported Essex County Council with the installation of roof mounted solar panels at fifteen schools across the county.
The panels will generate 700,000 kWh of energy which is equivalent to powering 185 homes a year or saving 180 tonnes of CO2 and around £115,000 annually, and are part of a wider programme that will see installations at a further 28 school sites and council buildings over the next 3 months with projected savings of an additional 220 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Mitie Communities has worked with Essex County Council to manage the installation of roof mounted solar panels at 15 schools across the county. The new panels will help to significantly reduce carbon emissions and energy costs for the Council. The panels will produce around 700,000 kWh of renewable energy every year, equivalent to the energy needed to power 185 homes1, saving 180 tonnes of CO2 and around £115,000, with an estimated payback of around 10 years.
Mitie, who provides full Facilities Management and maintenance services to Essex County Council, managed the entire installation process. This included a full review of the Council’s estate of more than 250 locations to identify the priority sites, creating business cases and feasibility studies, and securing government funding, as well as overseeing the selection of specialist suppliers and installation. Mitie has also installed remote monitoring equipment in the panels to track the performance of the panels, the carbon savings achieved and any maintenance requirements.
With the project focused on helping to tackle the climate crisis and reduce emissions for generations to come, it was fitting that Mitie Communities and Essex County Council prioritised schools for the first phase of solar panel installation. The project will now move on to phase two of the solar installation programme, installing roof-mounted panels at another 12 schools and 16 core council buildings, such as libraries and children centres, to help drive emissions down further. Following their installation over the next three months, this will cut the Council’s carbon emissions by an extra 220 tonnes a year.
This project builds on an ongoing partnership between the council and facility services provider to fight climate change by reducing energy use and helping the county reach net zero carbon emissions target by 2050. Some of the installations were delivered as part of a project called Empower 2.0, which aims to empower citizens in Essex to take an active role in the energy market as the UK transitions to a low carbon society.
Pradyumna Pandit, managing director, Sustainability and Energy Services for Mitie, comments: “Decarbonising the UK’s buildings is key to securing a net zero future for the next generation, so it’s very fitting that we’re helping Essex County Council cut its emissions by rolling out solar panels across the region’s schools. With this project, we’re demonstrating that doing the right thing by our planet doesn’t need to cost the earth, by helping the Council lower its energy bills along with its carbon emissions.”
Councillor Schwier, Lead Member on Climate Action for Essex County Council, adds: “I am delighted that the first phase of this project has now been successfully completed. We are committed to tackling climate change in Essex and this is a fantastic step in the right direction. With the Essex Climate Action Commission about to launch its recommendations for a net zero Essex later in the summer, we expect many similar initiatives will be proposed.
“These solar systems will showcase the reality of net-zero electricity to thousands of pupils and staff, so they can experience renewable energy first-hand.”