School computers could run on solar energy

SOLAR panels could be installed at a Portishead primary school to help power its computer suite. Staff at St Joseph's School have drawn up plans to install

SOLAR panels could be installed at a Portishead primary school to help power its computer suite.Staff at St Joseph's School have drawn up plans to install solar panels on its roof to generate electricity for its ICT room.The plans and an application have gone forward for a grant, to company Solar Century, which makes the energy generating devices. If the proposals get the go-ahead and funding is available, the school, which moved to its Bristol Road site three years ago, will be one of the first in the district to generate its own energy.Youngsters have already been raising money towards the cost of the panels - which could run into thousands of pounds - by holding uniform and toy sales.St Joseph's School education for sustainable development co-ordinator Majella Rigby said: "The plans are now with Solar Century and we are expecting them to send out a surveyor to let us know whether what we want to do is feasible."If they are, we hope funding will be available for the scheme."The panels will offset the energy used in our ICT suite, especially during the summer as we have had to have air conditioning installed."The school also holds an Eco Schools bronze award for their environmentally friendly approach to class life.Staff are hoping the solar plan will help them secure a silver award and a coveted green flag.Students at the school already work as eco monitors and check the levels of gas and electricity used each month.Mrs Rigby added: "The school already runs a number of initiatives and we watch what the children eat as well as composting our fruit and vegetable waste."We also have a wormery which produces compost which we use as fertiliser on our flower and shrub beds."The solar panels are another way of raising children's awareness of alternative sources of energy and environmental issues.


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