The solar dreams of Alston schools have come true after a crowdfunding campaign raised the money needed for a 27 kW solar PV array.

The campaign was run by Alston Moor Community Energy (AMCE) and marks the group’s first successful installation of renewable energy in the area. It raised its full target of £22,300, to install the maximum size of array on the roof of the Alston Primary and Samuel Kings’ schools.

Kit England, one of AMCE’s directors, said:

“We’re delighted to have hit our target and we’re extremely grateful to all those individuals and businesses who pledged donations or raised funds to help make it happen – especially the Coop for their raffle, and Pennine Ways, whose final generous donation helped us meet our target.

“Every donation has gone towards investing in the next generation, both in tackling climate change and in contributing to the long-term financial sustainability of the school. It also demonstrates the real financial and social benefits Alston Moor can realise by going green.”

With the funds raised, things are moving fast.

“The scaffolding is already up and Love Solar is due to complete the install this week, ensuring the school benefits from this summer’s sun,” Kit said. “Over the next 20 years, the project will save over 150 tonnes of carbon, as well as generating nearly £70,000 of savings through the school from reduced energy bills and income from the feed-in tariff.”

CAfS has supported AMCE over the past few years, through our Alston Moor Greenprint project, run by Roe Baker.

“Together, we’ve explored several different options for renewable energy on Alston Moor – from solar to hydro – and it’s brilliant to see those efforts bearing fruit now,” Roe said. “A huge well done to the volunteers at AMCE who have made this fantastic project happen. It’s very fitting that AMCE’s first installation should directly benefit young people and future generations. Switching to cleaner energy is so central to preventing the climate crisis, which will affect them the most.”