Having raised in excess of £7.5m with its last Bond, the Company partnered with ‘Power Your Future’ (www.poweryourfuture.co.uk), a schools’ sustainability programme, and began construction on a series of solar installations, helping participating schools to generate their own solar energy, and in turn reduce their overheads. Projects have either been completed or are in the process of installation at 22 schools, all over the country, and aided by funding from the new Bond, CBD plans to install solar systems at a further 50 schools over the next six months.
Once completed, the entire portfolio will generate more than 3,300,000 MWh of renewable electricity per annum, and will prevent the emission of some 1,720 tonnes of CO2 each year. The savings for all the schools involved will be c£100,000 over the course of the first year, and in excess of £2.3m over the 20 year lifetime of the installations combined.
CBD chairman and managing director, Gerry McGowan, explains: “Partnering with schools and aiding their solar development was always a big priority for us, and the next Bond will help us to help even more schools. The savings generated will free up budget and enable schools to invest more heavily in educational resources, paying for a further 83 teachers (based on average salaries) or as many as 156,000 extra books.
“At the same time – and in keeping with our Company’s commitment to educate students about the importance of renewable energy – each school participating in the Power Your Future Programme will also be provided with educational materials and access to the systems’ ‘smart meter’, allowing them to track the output and carbon savings produced by their solar installation, and encouraging a lasting change in the attitudes of the next generation towards renewable energy. Altering the way our society both thinks about, and relates to, the environment is very important to us.”
The Power Your Future Programme involves no capital outlay on the part of the schools, and the systems are both maintained and insured by CBD – the schools benefiting from the green power generated on site at a heavily discounted rate. To date more than 100 schools have been installed through the Programme and are currently benefitting from cheaper, green energy.