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Silkmore School powered by the sun!

Silkmore PV panelsThe 24 solar panels on the roof at Silkmore School have generated more than £6000 in just over three years, double the initial predictions!

Pupils and staff at Silkmore Community Primary School can smile on sunny days, knowing that their 24 solar panels, installed over the Christmas holidays at the end of 2011, are helping to boost school funds. The panels were funded largely by a grant from Alstom to the tune of £17,000, secured for the Penkside Project by officers at Stafford Borough Council.

The installation work was carried out by MEB Total as part of the Stafford Area Community Solar discount scheme, after lengthy planning and preparation work. Sue Blake, Office and Financial Services Manager at the school, said that once the go-ahead had been given the whole process went through smoothly.

'Renewable energy day' launches solar panels!

In June 2012 the school staged a special day of events to mark the 'launch' of the solar power scheme. This included special workshops on renewable energy and a themed assembly. For pictures of this event click here.

Double the expected income!

At the outset it was estimated that the panels, rated at 6 kilowatts peak, would earn the school upwards of £1000 per year, giving a boost to the school budget. However, in the three years since installation they have generated over £6000 - double the expectations! - as well as reducing the cost of electric bills over that time. Sue Blake said: "we are really pleased with our solar panels and they are performing really well."

Helping kids to cycle to schoolcycle shelter

To sustain the school's green theme, funding was provided by the Penkside Project to install a new cycle shelter for pupils at Silkmore Primary. This was completed ready for the start of the new school year in September 2011. A pool of children's bikes and cycle helmets were also provided, to encourage youngsters to cycle safely and have fun.

The new cycle shelter at Silkmore Primary. Left to right: Mackenzie Parsons, Leo Wright, Karen Davies (Stafford Borough Council) and Julie Mowbray (Headteacher). "The shelter is now very well used, with a mix of bikes and scooters," according to Office Manager, Sue Blake.