Popular Gloucestershire school goes green with massive installation of nearly 350 solar panels

A popular independent school located near Stroud has undergone a big green transformation to become more environmentally friendly and save significant amounts on its annual electricity bills.

By Sarah Kent  |  Published
Independent school Wycliffe College in Stroud is now powered by solar energy collected from its 337 rooftop panels.

Wycliffe College is a leading independent school based in Stonehouse near Stroud. Founded in 1882, its picturesque countryside campus features a mix of period buildings and modern, purpose-built facilities.

Accommodating both day and boarding pupils, ages range from pre-prep, where children join the school at three-years-old, all the way through to Year 13, where pupils finish school aged 18.

The site as a whole caters to a wide range of needs and activities, together with on-site residences for staff members, too; and, as a result, uses an exceptionally high amount of energy during the day.

Due to this, Wycliffe sought to move towards becoming more sustainable and efficient in its energy use and called upon the help of a Gloucestershire firm to help identify where and how it could make environmentally friendly changes for good.

Rob Miles, CEO at Dursley-based renewable energy specialist, Immersa, said: 'Over the course of a few weeks, we visited Wycliffe’s campus to understand exactly which buildings were in highest demand from the grid.

'Once we understood the needs of the school, we put together a full proposal detailing which solar panel system would be the most suitable, a breakdown of when the system would perform its best and financial models detailing cost and savings.'

The consultation and design plan is a crucial part of the process, making sure every inch of a site is accounted for, in terms of energy use and potential suitability for solar PV installation.

Immersa recommended that Wycliffe would need a large number of panels across five separate roofs on three different buildings — this would maximise its solar production, with roofs in varying sizes and at different orientations.

Rob said: 'We also had to consider prioritising the school’s operational needs, ensuring minimal disruption during term times while the work was being carried out. We worked around Wycliffe’s academic calendar and carried out the solar panel installation over a three-week period.'

The team installed a massive 337 panels with over 142kWp of solar potential, with the dining hall housing a 140-panel system; the finance building receiving a 131-panel system; and the art and design and technology building housing 66 panels.

Facilities manager at Wycliffe, Mark Rickard, commented: 'We're over the moon with how the system is performing. Our expectations have been exceeded and we are actually saving even more than we thought we would.

'Immersa installed during term time and were very professional, keeping disruption to an absolute minimum. We couldn’t recommend them enough.'

Rob continued: 'With significant financial and carbon savings, and a short payback period, Wycliffe College is a trailblazer for other schools and colleges. Its pro-active approach aligns with the growing importance of environmental responsibility within our educational institutions.'

To find out more about rooftop solar panels and commercial battery storage, visit immersa.co.uk.

In partnership with Immersa  |  immersa.co.uk

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