Powering positive change at Danbury Park Community Primary School

13 November 2020 - Published by Dominique Dhondt
Two community buildings in Essex have seen the installation of solar panels completed in October as part of the Essex Empower pilot. Essex Outdoors Danbury and Danbury Park Community Primary School look set to benefit from reduced energy bills as well as doing their bit to reduce Essex’s carbon footprint.

Electricity produced by the solar panels across the two sites is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to supply 22 average homes. As well as energy savings, the installations will also deliver 15 tonnes of carbon reductions in year one and over 375 tonnes of carbon reduction over the lifetime of the systems installed.

 But the solar installations are only the first step. Engagement with key members of the local community have started and community-based activities will make local residents aware of the benefits of renewable energy whilst facilitating the community to take power and ownership in the shift to a decentralised and low carbon energy market. Local residents at the pilot site are being invited to take part in an online event in November to find out more about support available for community groups in Essex to increase communities ownership of renewable generation assets.

Councillor Simon Walsh, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change Action said: “This is fantastic news. The Council is committed to encouraging and promoting use of renewable energy and the Essex Climate Action Commission would love to see other community buildings follow suit.”

The solar panels were delivered by Essex County Council's Environment and Climate Action team. The Authority is also planning another solar installation at the pilot site (Danbury) at St John's Primary School.

Carol Gooding, Danbury Park Community Primary School headteacher said: "We are delighted with our new solar panels. We are developing curriculum resources on solar energy to use as part of our teaching so that we educate the children and share this with the parents. Our school sustainability team is very excited with this project."

Paul Stokes, Essex Outdoors Danbury manager said: "Hundreds of schools and thousands of visitors come to our centre every year and our solar panels will raise awareness of renewable energy and encourage communities in Essex to follow our example."