On 18th May Dinah and Nick visited one of our latest solar schools, St John’s Primary in Midsomer Norton.

The children from the school council had sent us a list of questions about the panels so we did a short presentation for them.

Nick and Dinah said: “What an honour to meet St John’s School Council – we were impressed with how enthusiastic they were for saving energy and helping the environment. We were thrilled to hear about their impressive School energy saving efforts and it was a delight to spot them putting this in to practice by turning off lights in unused rooms as we walked around the building”.

They asked some very impressive questions during our visit – we thought you’d like to see a sample:

  • How do the solar panels work? How do they convert sunlight into energy?
  • What are they made of?
  • Will they last forever?
  • What happens to the energy that we don’t use in the daytime?
  • Do we have a battery?
  • What happens to the energy that we don’t use?
  • How much money will they save for our school?
  • How much energy do they make?
  • How can we check how much money they are saving? How can we check how much energy they are producing?
    What difference will they make in terms of tackling climate change?

Danielle West-Gaul, Head Teacher said:

“The installation of solar panels was something we had been thinking about for a while but it was actually our previous Year 6 cohort who wrote persuasive letters to myself and the Multi Academy Trust which encouraged us to get them installed.

We have a very active school council here at St John’s who have been playing their part in introducing and monitoring our energy saving efforts. They have introduced a ‘switch off afternoon’ every Friday whereby all non-essential electronics are turned off, monitor our weekly usage using the energy sparks website, as well as developing a colour coded system to identify which equipment can be switched off if not in use. We hope the installation of our new solar panels will help towards our energy saving efforts”.

Key stats on the solar installation

PV Generator Output: 37.2 kWp
Number of Solar Panels: 93
Roof area covered: 178.4m2
PV Generated Energy/year: 34,350 kWh
Carbon saved/year: 7.5 tonnes
Carbon saved over the 25 year life of the installation: 186 tonnes
Proportion of the school’s electricity demand met by the solar installation: 28.4%

This installation generates enough energy to charge 850,000 iphones every year!