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Sun to shine on Salford schools as community energy scheme takes off

Three Salford schools are to be fitted with solar PV panels afters a community share offer reached its fundraising target.

Primrose Hill Primary in Ordsall, Irlam Primary School and Fiddlers Lane Community Primary School will all be fitted out with solar panels this summer.

The sites will benefit from lower electricity bills as a result of the clean energy being generated from their rooftops.

The environmentally friendly scheme expects to save 50tonnes of carbon emissions in the first year alone.

A total of £186k was needed to fund the scheme, which was raised through a community share offer.

Members were invited to invest in the scheme from as little as £100.

Any profits from the generation of electricity will be ploughed back into a community fund, which is then used to support eco-friendly projects.

The sites will also be used to teach young people about climate change and the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The scheme is run by volunteers who have set up community benefit societies – Greater Manchester Community Renewables (GMCR) and Moss Community Energy.

They received grants to develop the project from Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Urban Community Energy Fund and Unicorn Grocery, based in Chorlton, Manchester.

Ali Abbas, Director of GMCR, said: “This is a fantastic achievement. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us to get to this point. We were oversubscribed with share applications, which is incredible.

“If people are interested in supporting community energy then there are a number of schemes across Greater Manchester that are currently looking for investment.”

NPS Solar, based in Oldham, are contracted to carry out the work. Ben Nuttall from NPs said: “NPS Solar is proud to have won the contract to work on this community energy project.

Not only will installing solar panels generate more green electricity, it will also generate awareness of the benefits of renewable energy within the local community.

“We are pleased that this project is not just about saving money, but also about helping the next generation see renewables as part of everyday life.”

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.