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Mitie and Essex Council Cut Schools' Carbon with Solar

Solar Panels
09 July 2021
 

Mitie Communities has worked with Essex County Council to manage the installation of roof-mounted solar panels at 15 schools across the county. 

The new panels will help to significantly reduce carbon emissions and energy costs for the Council. The panels will produce around 700,000 kWh of renewable energy every year, equivalent to the energy needed to power 185 homes, saving 180 tonnes of CO2 and around £115,000, with an estimated payback of around 10 years.

 

“These solar systems will showcase the reality of net-zero electricity to thousands of pupils and staff, so they can experience renewable energy first-hand.”

 

– Councillor Schwier
Lead Member on Climate Action, Essex County Council

 

A Comprehensive Installation Service

 

Mitie, who provides full Facilities Management and maintenance services to Essex County Council, managed the entire installation process. This included a full review of the Council’s estate of more than 250 locations to identify the priority sites, creating business cases and feasibility studies, and securing government funding, as well as overseeing the selection of specialist suppliers and installation. 

Mitie has also installed remote monitoring equipment in the panels to track the performance of the panels, the carbon savings achieved, and any maintenance requirements.

With the project focused on helping to tackle the climate crisis and reduce emissions for generations to come, it was fitting that Mitie Communities and Essex County Council prioritised schools for the first phase of solar panel installation. 

The project will now move on to phase two of the solar installation programme, installing roof-mounted panels at another 12 schools and 16 core council buildings, such as libraries and children centres, to help drive emissions down further. Following their installation over the next three months, this will cut the Council’s carbon emissions by an extra 220 tonnes a year.

FMs looking for Solar Panel Installers or Solar PV & Solar Thermal can access the new Spotted Cow Media Business directory now.

 

A Growing Partnership

 

This project builds on Mitie and Essex County Council’s ongoing partnership to fight climate change by reducing energy use and helping the county reach net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050. Some of the installations were delivered as part of a project called Empower 2.0, which aims to empower citizens in Essex to take an active role in the energy market as the UK transitions to a low carbon society.

“Decarbonising the UK’s buildings is key to securing a net-zero future for the next generation," said Pradyumna Pandit, Managing Director, Sustainability and Energy Services. "So it’s very fitting that we’re helping Essex County Council cut its emissions by rolling out solar panels across the region’s schools. With this project, we’re demonstrating that doing the right thing by our planet doesn’t need to cost the earth, by helping the Council lower its energy bills along with its carbon emissions.”

Councillor Schwier, Lead Member on Climate Action, Essex County Council also spoke about the project. “I am delighted that the first phase of this project has now been successfully completed," they said. "We are committed to tackling climate change in Essex and this is a fantastic step in the right direction. With the Essex Climate Action Commission about to launch its recommendations for a net-zero Essex later in the summer, we expect many similar initiatives will be proposed. 

“These solar systems will showcase the reality of net-zero electricity to thousands of pupils and staff, so they can experience renewable energy first-hand.”

Mitie is also collaborating with apetito to cut carbon from the menu at St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Food-related emissions are estimated to account for over one-third of the world’s greenhouse emissions, and therefore catering options are an important consideration in any business's net-zero plans.

 

Picture: Solar Panels on a roof.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 09 July 2021

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