Merton schools tap into the power of the sun

Merton installed solar panels on Gorringe Park Primary School this week, making it the 16th school to benefit directly from free electricity from the sun through the council’s solar install programme.

With plans underway to install a further three systems by the end of March, nearly half of Merton’s primary schools will have solar panels before Easter.  In addition to schools, the council has also installed solar panels on 14 of its other buildings across the borough, including care homes, libraries and leisure centres.

Together all the systems installed by the council have a capacity of over 1.5 megawatts and there’s another 155 kilowatts in the pipeline, which will generate enough power to run a whole school for a year.

In 2015, Merton Council produced over 720,000 kWh from solar panels, enough to boil over six million litres of water or run over 180 homes all year. All that power means we avoided over 390 tonnes of CO2 emissions, helping to contribute to making Merton a greener borough. Through continuing to generate our own energy, the council will reduce our exposure to fluctuating energy prices, generate revenue through the government’s Feed-in Tariff and help combat climate change.


Councillor Andrew Judge and Headteacher of Gorringe Park Primary School, Simon Elledge

Last week, Councillor Andrew Judge visited Gorringe Park Primary School to take a look at the newly installed solar panels. 30 kiloWatts of solar panels were installed which should produce around 5-10% of the school’s power through the year.

Cabinet member for Environmental Sustainability and Regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge said: “The installation of so many solar panels to our buildings around Merton is integral to the future of our community. I’m delighted as these solar panels will not only help save money and cut running costs by generating our own electricity, but will also allow the borough to become more environmentally friendly.”

Simon Elledge, Headteacher for Gorringe Park Primary School said: “The installation of solar panels at Gorringe has not only had a beneficial educational effect on the students, but will also save us several thousand pounds which will free up money that can be used for extra resources for our students.”