Two new solar panel arrays have been installed at Godalming College’s Independent Learning Centre and Performing Arts Centre. The new arrays were added as part of the continuing partnership between Wey Valley Solar, and the College.
Godalming College’s Assistant Principal Finance & Resources, Sarah Baudains said “We worked closely with Wey Valley Solar in 2023 to significantly expand the volume of solar panels at Godalming College. Wey Valley Solar installed just over 400 panels across two of our College buildings in 2023, which will significantly reduce the amount of electricity that we need to purchase from the grid. This not only helps with financial energy savings to the College, but also helps to meet the College’s sustainability objectives of reducing our carbon emissions.”
Wey Valley Solar first installed solar panels at Godalming College in 2011 when it launched its co-operative, not-for-profit, model across six local schools. The co-op now operates across 10 schools and one church and is part of a movement of community energy groups that aim to reduce the amount of harmful CO2 entering the atmosphere and to reduce electricity costs for schools and other community organisations. Commenting on the recent installation, founder and chair of Wey Valley Solar, Mike Smyth MBE, said “It is hugely gratifying to be continuing our partnership with Godalming College some 12 years since we first started working together. The College’s focus on reducing its carbon footprint is inspirational for the school’s pupils and the town itself.”
Wey Valley Solar operates by installing and maintaining the solar panels at no cost to the school. The finance needed is raised by a share issue supported by existing Wey Valley Solar members, the local community, and members of other like-minded energy co-operatives across the country. The next share issue will roll out in early 2024. Anyone interested in supporting and investing in this locally-based clean energy expansion can find out more at www.weyvalleysolar.co.uk The installation is managed by award-winning renewable energy contractors, Joju Solar.
Sarah Baudains again “This project as a concept was hugely welcomed by staff and students alike. Working with Wey Valley Solar was simple and straightforward. The project was completed on time and with relative ease during the College holidays. If you are thinking of starting or expanding solar arrays on your own school campus, then I would recommend Wey Valley Solar as a way of doing this without having to find the capital funds to purchase the panels yourselves.”
The Godalming College expansion means that the school has quadrupled its clean energy generation to over 215 kWp. The College is now cutting its CO2 emissions by an estimated 45 tonnes per year.