Portmead and Glyncollen Primary schools have just both had solar panel systems commissioned. This adds to the three other Swansea schools with solar installed by Egni Co-op in September. A 30 kWp system consisting of 80 panels has been installed at Portmead and a 24 kWp system with 64 panels at Glyncollen.
In September, 220kW of rooftop solar was installed on three schools – Pentrehafod, Gowerton (below) and Pontardulais Comprehensives.
Egni co-director, Rosie Gillam said “it’s great that Swansea schools and the Council are taking action on climate change, and that these systems have been fully commissioned during Wales Climate Week. We are really pleased that other Swansea schools are coming forward, keen to take part in the programme.”
Swansea Council is working in collaboration with Egni Co-op and the Welsh Government Energy Service to help the authority in its aims to become a carbon neutral by 2030.
Further school projects will follow and the partners are also looking at extending the scheme to non-school buildings.
Most of the electricity generated will be used at the schools, cutting carbon emissions from the schools by about 1,600 tonnes over the next 20 years.
Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes, Energy and Service Transformation, said: “We are delighted with this increase in clean green power on our schools in Swansea.
“Earlier this year we declared our climate emergency and I’d like to thank everyone involved for moving rapidly to take action in response to this declaration.
“This was achieved at a time when we are facing so many other pressures and I want to thank all the council officers involved for ensuring that the project was completed on time and to such good effect.”
She added: “The cost of these solar installations was funded by Egni Co-op and all surpluses will be spent on education projects so it’s a very good partnership approach for the Council.”
“The council is determined to take a lead on tackling the climate crisis and by working with Egni Co-op, we want to increase in the amount of renewable energy installed on our buildings.”
Egni Co-op is a community organisation which funds and manages PV installations in Wales. The solar panels in Swansea have been funded by Egni’s ongoing co-op share offer which has raised £2.2m to date, and has recently raised its target to £3m. The rollout was supported by Welsh Government Energy Service who provided dedicated development manager time to the Council.
Sarah Hunt, business manager at Gowerton Comprehensive said: “We are delighted with our new solar panels. Our young people are very keen to tackle climate change and it’s great that the school has been able to reduce its carbon footprint.”
Andrew Barrett, Business Manager at Pentrehafod Comprehensive said: “The installers were first class throughout and I’d recommend Egni Coop to other schools in Swansea for the quality and care of their approach.”
Dylan Jenkins, Business Manager at Pontardulais Comprehensive said: “This is a win win for the school and our pupils – reducing our environmental impact and our electricity bills.”
Jim Cardy, senior manager for Welsh Government Energy Service said, “This project is a great example of a social enterprise working closely with a local authority partner in Wales to tackle the climate emergency. We’re pleased to have assisted Swansea Council with technical support and grant funding to progress this rollout.”
Egni is developing a specialist education programme highlighting the benefits and use of solar panels, renewable energy and the business model of co-operatives.
Rosie Gillam, Egni Director said: “The Swansea schools will be receiving £500 of shares in Egni Coop and we want to work with their young people to increase understanding of the cooperative approach in tackling climate change.
“We’d like to thank our installers, Ice Solar, who worked very hard to complete the jobs to a high standard.”
“An online educational portal will be developed so students can learn more about renewable energy generated and Egni Co-op will also be providing specific teaching/lesson support which ties in with the new Welsh curriculum. It’s wonderful to be part of a co-operative working alongside a Welsh local authority, as it retains funding within Wales and has many positive outcomes.”
Egni Co-op is a community organisation which funds and manages PV installations in Wales. It was set up by Awel Aman Tawe (AAT), a community energy charity which has been operating for 20 years. Our prime drivers are tackling climate change and engaging people in energy.
Here’s a recent film made by double BAFTA Cymru winner, Mike Harrison about the largest rooftop solar project in Wales on the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome in Newport https://youtu.be/ZC80dcRmla0
Egni has now raised £2m from a community share offer from over 1,000 people and organisations. We also secured a £2.12m loan from the Development Bank of Wales to fund the installs which are ongoing. This is the biggest rollout of rooftop solar in Welsh history www.egni.coop
Egni has installed nearly 4MWp on 82 sites in Wales which:
- Saves £88k/year in electricity costs
- Reduces carbon emissions by 1,000t/year
- Engages an estimated 50,000 people engaged in renewable generation at our solar-powered buildings and as members of our co-ops
The team behind Egni Co-op have also delivered the award-winning Awel Co-op, a 4.7MW community wind farm which was commissioned in Jan 2017. It was funded by a £5.25m loan from Triodos Bank and a £3m community share offer www.awel.coop.
Egni Co-op won Outstanding Renewable Energy Project in an award sponsored by Welsh Government in December 2019 (https://egni.co-op/egni-co-op-earns-a-place-in-the-sun-at-wales-sustainability-academy-awards/) & Awel Aman Tawe was recognised as Environmental Organisation of the Year in the Social Enterprise UK Awards – https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/winners-of-the-uk-social-enterprise-awards-2019/
For further details of Egni , please contact Dan McCallum 07590 848818
About Welsh Government Energy Service
The Welsh Government Energy Service provides free technical, commercial and procurement support to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and has supported Egni. The energy service helps with financial planning and funding, for example interest free loans and grants.