GE and Solarcentury to get UK schools generating £68,000 from solar power

• GE Capital to finance school solar purchase and installation.
• Government’s Feed-in tariff to generate income for school’s loan repayments and more for 25 years.

GE has formed a partnership with Solarcentury, the UK’s most experienced solar energy company, to provide financial services support for its Solar4Schools programme. The programme, which has already installed solar electric systems in over 250 schools across the UK, aims to introduce solar power to hundreds of schools across the nation 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 and unique financial package for schools. This initiative could enable schools to save up to £840 a year on electricity bills and generate an income of over £3,000 a year, without the full upfront cost of buying solar. 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 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.

Comments Mark Elborne GE’s President and CEO:

“At GE we are very keen to showcase the breadth and depth of our technological and financial expertise. This unique scheme highlights how the financial services sector can help the UK in its aim to reduce carbon emissions, by enabling change. By linking up with Solarcentury and the Solar4Schools programme, we will be able to help schools throughout the UK recognise the positive impact of green technologies by reducing their carbon footprint, saving money on their energy costs and generating income through their energy consumption”

Derry, Newman, CEO, Solarcentury:

“We’re delighted GE is helping roll Solar4Schools out on a larger scale. It’s a great example of private sector innovation for community scale benefit. Solar electricity is a very positive investment for schools, as it introduces a long term income stream as well as cutting C02 emissions and bill costs. As local authorities face budget cuts, this is an opportunity for them to create a long term revenue stream as well as educate children on the importance of renewable energy for a sustainable future. ”

Solar4Schools encourages education in environmental issues and renewable energy, providing lesson plans and a teacher kits to schools with its solar power. Also, the amount of electricity generated and C02 savings is shown on a display in school with system data available online.

The Feed-in tariff, launched by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change in April 2010, 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.

Currently there are over 29,000 schools without any renewable energy source

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