Powering West Sussex schools by the sun has brought national recognition tot the county.
A scheme for West Sussex County Council, delivered by the council in Portsmouth, has installed solar photovoltaic panels which generate 15 to 250 kilowatts on to 80 schools.
The panels enable the schools to generate clean, renewable electricity and reduce their annual energy bills by an average of £2,000. They are also cutting carbon emissions by 1,300 tonnes.
The programme won the delivering clean growth category at the national Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) President’s awards.
West Sussex cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Deborah Urquhart, said: “We are delighted to be recognised by our local government peers for delivering such an ambitious programme.
“The solar panels will deliver environmental and financial benefits for many years to come and, in the case of some of the larger installations, enable schools to meet 100 per cent of their energy demand on sunny days.”
The combined renewable energy generation capacity from all the schools’ solar panels equals the output of the county council’s five-megawatt solar farm at Tangmere.
“This is capable of powering 1,500 homes.”
Installing the panels is part of the council’s energy strategy, which has included the launch of energy firm Your Energy Sussex.