Solar panels urged for Yorkshire schools upgrade

A YORKSHIRE council which is set to spend millions of pounds on modernising three schools is looking at installing solar panels there as well.

A report to be considered by Calderdale Council's Cabinet on January 10 says that work is due to begin on two schools imminently and one shortly after.

Central Government funding will result in spending of 2.1m at Heptonstall, 2.5 at Salterhebble and 2.4m at Midgley. Work at Heptonstall is due to start on January 10 with all work completed by next year.

The report says that following feasibility study findings in October 2009 it ''was concluded that photovaltaic panels would be suitable for all three schemes" and that the payback periods would be between 20 and 24 years without taking account of feed-in tariffs, CRC Carbon Reduction Schemes costs or possible future increases in fuel prices.

It added: ''Biomass was also considered to be feasible at Salterhebble and Midgley but with payback periods exceeding 100 years.''

The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions would be considerable with a maximum reduction forecast at Heptonstall of 21 per cent, Salterhebble of 55 per cent and Midgley 48 per cent.

The report adds: ''The design for all three schemes has now been completed without any provision for any renewable energy technologies other than solar thermal panels that will pre-heat water for hot water installations.

''Two of the schemes are due to start imminently and the third shortly after. It is, therefore, recommended that any borrowing funds made available should be devoted to photovoltaic panel installations.

''In conclusion the report's author says: ''Work is ongoing in developing a low carbon strategy for Calderdale and it would be unfortunate to miss this opportunity to improve three schools.''