On 27th January Bath MP Wera Hobhouse visited a rooftop solar system installed by Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) at Beechen Cliff School.

The system was installed during the summer holidays last year and is BWCE’s largest rooftop system to date, comprising 680 solar panels that provide 262 kilowatts of power to the school. The system is estimated to reduce the school’s carbon emissions by 52 tonnes per year and significantly cut their fuel costs.

BWCE installed the rooftop solar system for free, so no upfront cost to the school.  BWCE owns and manages the system and, crucially during rising fuel costs, sells the generated electricity back to the school at a discount price.

“I am so proud that Beechen Cliff School and BWCE have come together on this vital project, helping both the planet and the wider school community. Community energy schemes such as this are vital to achieving net zero, and have my wholehearted support. Bath has long been a pioneer in this field and once again our area is leading the way. Seeing how the solar panels help raise money for school sets an exciting example for how other public services may benefit from similar projects.”

Wera Hobhouse MP

“I am really pleased that Bath and West Community Energy are supplying solar panels on a non-profit basis. Our partnership with them is enabling the school to cut carbon emissions and save on rising fuel bills at no capital cost to the school. Ensuring a sustainable future is something our students are passionate about. Our school Eco-Team began a campaign last year for the school to install solar panels and so I am delighted that this has been possible. Further to this, it is great to know that some of the income generated by BWCE is going into other worthwhile community projects through their community fund.”

Tim Markell, Headteacher, Beechen Cliff School

“It’s been exciting to work with Beechen Cliff to deliver our largest solar rooftop scheme to date. Our work with schools is really demonstrating the value of community energy in both addressing the climate crisis and reducing fuel bills. We estimate a total saving of around £125,000 per year across all the schools where we have installed solar during 2022.”

Peter Capener, Managing Director, BWCE

Nick Bird, Community Engagement Manager BWCE; Tim Markell, Headteacher Beechen Cliff School; Wera Hobhouse MP and John Rawlins, Renewable Energy Project Developer BWCE.