13 July 2010 – The UK-based Solarcentury
has formed a partnership with GE to provide financial services support for its ‘Solar4Schools’ programme, which has already installed solar electric systems in over 250 schools across the UK and aims to introduce solar power to many more schools across the country over the next two years.
For schools and local authorities looking to make savings and hedge against rising electricity prices, GE Capital, the financial services arm of GE, is offering an exclusive financial package.
The initiative could enable schools to save up to £840 (US$1265) a year on electricity bills and generate an income of over £3000 a year, without the full up-front cost of buying solar, says GE.
The school will simply pay back the equipment cost over 15 years using income generated from the recently introduced solar feed-in tariffs. Over a 25 year period a typical secondary school could see income and savings of around £68,000.
Unlike other school solar initiatives, where a utility or equipment provider owns the system, GE’s scheme will mean schools or local authorities own their equipment once the lease is repaid, enabling local communities to benefit from the full feed-in tariff payments from year 15 to 25 of the scheme.
GE says it will pay the cost of installing the solar technology, starting at £16,000, with either local authorities or schools typically funding a small initial deposit.
The feed-in tariff pays those with solar electric systems a premium on all of the electricity they generate for a guaranteed 25 years.
Solarcentury’s Solar4Schools aims get schools generating income from the tariff and taking full advantage of the scheme.