PENDOCK Primary, a tiny Church of England village school in
Worcestershire, with just 43 pupils, has become what is believed to
be the one of the smallest energy- suppliers to the National Grid.
Since solar panels were installed on its roof, in May 2013, it has
earned more than £400 from its feed to the grid, and saved £500 on
its energy bills.
The move to solar energy was mooted by Mechteld Blake, who
chairs the parent teacher association. Ms Blake, an environmental
research scientist, heard about the Solar Schools Campaign run by
10:10, a carbon reduction organisation, and suggested that Pendock
should join. "Only two members of the PTA were sceptical, but they
soon came on board, and within a very short time the whole village
was involved," she says.
Local supporters "bought" solar roof "tiles" at £5 a piece, and
with events ranging from a pumpkin sale to a village party with a
live band, £6000 of the £9000 needed for the solar panels was
raised in just two terms. Then the small supplier, Good Energy,
stepped in with a £3000 donation, so the panels could be installed
in time for summer.
Pendock's head teacher, Sally Lyndon Chance, says that teaching
about environmental issues increased during the campaign. "Our
children are fascinated by the whole solar-energy project, and
they're very proud of what's been achieved."
Pendock is one of the first 14 schools in the country to go
solar, although 20 more - five C of E schools among them - are
actively fund-raising, and hope to join them this year.
Amy Cameron, from 10:10's schools team, says that schools are
ideally suited for solar PV because they are stable locations, and
most of their energy use takes place during daylight hours. "With a
bit of determination, almost any school can go solar," she