Kings Langley energy group hopes for a sunny future with school solar panel plans

Grand Union Community Energy group logo.
Grand Union Community Energy group logo.
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A community-run scheme to help reduce Kings Langley’s carbon footprint has seen its first major project get up and running.

An application to install more than 180 solar panels on the rooftops of buildings belonging to the village’s Rudolf Steiner School has been submitted to Dacorum Borough Council’s planning committee by the Grand Union Community Energy (GUCE) group.

Although the application is in its early stages, if agreed it could reduce carbon emissions by 400 tonnes, the equivalent of 33 households’ average emissions.

The plans can also provide cashback for shareholders in GUCE (pronounced ‘juice’) from the Enterprise Investment Scheme and the government’s Feed-in Tariffs, which pay for every kilowatt per hour of electricity generated from renewable sources.

Co-founder and director of GUCE Cyrille Jégu said: “The money for the panels has been raised from the community, and we have made calculations that it will give our shareholders a three per cent return on their investments.

“This is just one project for GUCE, but our objective is to help other communities to emulate and replicate what we have achieved.”

It is hoped the work, which will see panels placed on three school buildings including the theatre, will be completed over the summer.

Rudolf Steiner School’s estates manager Nicholas Rayment said: “This project led by GUCE is helping to reduce our carbon footprint in the local area. It is great they can help schools get involved.

“It is also a good thing for the pupils because we have a sustainability group and we already look at the energy we use, so they can help to monitor its progress and it will filter into the curriculum.”

The target date for a decision on the application is August 14. King Langley Parish council are being consulted.