BRIGHT sparks at Queen’s Park High School, Chester, officially switched on their £20,000 solar panels this week.
The rooftop panels are half funded by The Co-operative’s £2m Green Energy for Schools scheme with match-funding from the Government’s Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP).
The 875-pupil school is among 80 across the UK chosen to receive funding for renewable energy technology as part of the second phase of the scheme.
Headteacher Andrew Firman said: “We are proud to be among the schools leading the way on renewable energy through the Co-operative scheme.
“We are already working hard to reduce the school’s carbon footprint and switching on these rooftop solar panels will boost our efforts while sending out a strong message about our commitment to helping the environment.”
The 24 photovoltaic panels should generate around 3,300 kWh of electricity per year – enough to power one computer for 33,000 hours or to make 180,000 cups of tea for thirsty teachers.
The school can keep track of how much energy the panels are generating and the amount of carbon dioxide they have saved to date via a monitor.
Staff and pupils, including year 7 School Eco Committee members Alexandra Cavendish and Lucy Clegg, warmly welcomed the panels.
Alexandra said: “The solar panels are good for the environment. I am glad that our school can be more eco-friendly.”
Lucy added: “Not only are we saving the school money, but we are also helping to save the planet.”
Eco committee chair Sarah Kearney added: “The eco committee have arranged for tree planting, recycling and taken steps to increase eco awareness and the panels will certainly help in our bid for Eco Schools Green Flag status in March 2010.”