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North Oxford eco group wants to hit the roof with solar share issue
A NORTH Oxford community group aims to raise thousands of pounds to put solar panels on the rooftops of two local schools.
Oxford North Community Renewables (Oncore) has launched a new project to put install panels at St Barnabas and The Cherwell schools.
The project will generate cheap electricity for the schools, reduce climate emissions and generate a modest return for investors.
Sam Clarke, chairman of Oncore, said: “The money all comes from local investors who like the project.
“We have demonstrated that this works with our previous project at The Cherwell School. Now we are adding to this and extending to a school in Jericho.”
The project will raise £96,000 to purchase 259 panels to go on to three new roofs at the schools starting at half-term in February.
Around £45,000 will need to be raised through the sale of shares by mid-January for the work to start.
Fiona Hawkins, headteacher of St Barnabas, said: “We are excited at the prospect of taking this next step. The school has been an eco school for a number of years and having panels on the roofs makes us still greener. Both parents and children will be inspired by this new development and we will get cheaper electricity.”
Oncore put more than 200 solar panels on two roofs at The Cherwell School in 2011 which generate around 47Kw at their peak.
The electricity generated by the scheme will power the schools and will be sold at a discount unless it is unused and goes back to the grid.
The clean electricity generation is expected to save 28 tonnes of CO2 every year.
The two schemes would generate around 53,000kw hours of electricity per year, which is equivalent to poweing an average primary school for six months or 15 households for a year.
Surpluses from the scheme will be used to finance the work of Low Carbon Oxford North to support its carbon reduction projects.
Anthony Simpson of the low carbon hub said: “We were pleased by the interest shown in what can be achieved at schools.
“Having the meeting in The Cherwell school and hearing about how Oncore has worked is an inspiration to others.”
Shares in the scheme can be purchased at oncore.org.uk
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