Sophie’s a star with solar system design

LITTLE Sophie Atkinson has proved to be a real ray of sunshine – by using her creative skills to help her school harness solar power.
New solar panels have been installed on the roof at Lockwood Primary School, in Boosbeck, East Cleveland, as part of a drive to save both energy and money.
And six-year-old Sophie put her artistic talents to good use to mark the development, by designing an electronic display panel for the main hall which allows children to check exactly how much power their school is generating.
Sophie’s drawing – which shows a building with solar panels and highlights various uses for the sun’s energy – was chosen as the winner in a competition run for pupils by installers Aeris Solutions.
The new system was officially launched by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s Environment Group at an event which saw pupils learn about renewable energy and the importance of reducing the use of fossil fuels.
The panels, which are in place on the nursery roof, will help to reduce electricity bills, generate income through a feed-in tariff and cut the Council’s carbon footprint.
The 3.2kWp system can power 40 laptop computers, with the display panel also illustrating to pupils how the panels perform at different times of year and in various weather conditions.
Headteacher Grant Hopkins said the panels were a great addition to a school which was already committed to cutting electricity consumption through the work of a pupil-led eco-schools committee.
“The solar system is just one part of our commitment to educate the children of Lockwood about renewable energy. I am grateful to all those at Redcar & Cleveland Council who’ve made the installation of the system possible,” he said.
The Council has an on-going programme of installing renewable energy in its premises, with 12 buildings – including six schools – now boasting such technology.
Councillor Dave McLuckie, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “Lockwood has shown great dedication and enthusiasm when it comes to saving energy and this latest development also acts as a fantastic educational resource for pupils.”

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