Appeal for Welsh Schools to go Solar #YouthStrike4Climate

Egni Coop is supporting the #YouthStrike4Climate direct action today. But also sending out an appeal for schools to join coop efforts to install solar on their buildings. Rosie Gillam, who is leading the project said “So far, we’re working with over 90 community organisations and businesses across Wales on over 1MW of solar, but no schools are involved. We would love to engage with schools and find young people are so supportive of renewable energy.

But we think local authorities need to use the Future Generations Act to imagine a different Wales and focus on climate change. We are keen to work with local authorities and Welsh Government to consider how best to deal with issues such as procurement and leases – these should not be allowed to prevent action on climate change and we’re confident practical solutions can be found. We want to work with enthusiastic and determined people to achieve this.”

Mural by Sioned Haf

Rosie added “A key advantage of coops is that they can work with schools and pre-register for the Feed in Tariff – this maintains the current rate for a year which makes solar much more affordable. In the current financial climate, it’s going to be very hard for schools to install solar other than working with a co-op. Coops can bring so many other advantages too. But the deadline is the end of March so if any school is interested, they should contact us asap – rosie@awel.coop or via www.egni.coop

Dan McCallum, one of Egni Co-op Directors, who won an MBE for services to community energy in Wales last year, said “We know its possible for coops to install solar on school – we put 50kw on Ysgol y Bedol in 2015. It’s so disappointing that no schools have joined us so far – we are very excited to join the first school up! It would be a brilliant way to take tangible action on climate change, raise awareness and engage lots of people in the school community. We hope to work with all levels of the education system – children taking part in the #Youth-Strike4Climate direct action, headteachers and local authority leaders.

Egni South Wales Solar Photovoltaic Coop header logo

Further information

Egni Co-op, an award-winning Welsh solar pv co-op, is seeking to use roofs in Wales to generate clean energy. Egni is looking for buildings such as community centres, businesses and schools who’ve got an interest in reducing their bills and helping tackle climate change. It was set up by Awel Aman Tawe, a Welsh community energy charity.

The Feed in Tariff ends on 31st March but as a co-op we can register a site and fix the Feed in Tariff for a year, which gives us time to raise money using community shares.

Egni has already installed 179kw of solar on seven sites which have been running well for three years. Our existing sites include Ysgol y Bedol in Garnant, Dove Workshops in Banwen, Glynneath Training Centre, the Phoenix Centre in Swansea and Trimsaran Leisure Centre. We’re also part of the same team which developed the Awel Co-op community wind farm above Pontardawe – this was recognised as the best community energy project in England and Wales and raised over £3m from a co-op share offer.