Greencoat Venture Partner in Solar PV schools initiative
Robert Schrimpff, one of Greencoat Capital’s Venture Partners has been working hard over the last 18 months building a social impact business whose goal is to help schools save money, cut carbon emissions, and inspire generations of children to live more sustainably by installing solar panels funded by others.
The business model is simple: Use internet-based project development tools designed around schools, and work-from-home parents, to help schools develop, install and finance solar panels on their buildings. By keeping costs low, solar projects on schools are still viable in the UK despite subsidy cuts.
For every pound deployed in solar assets, eligible schools will save 1-2 pounds over the next 20 years at very low risk as SolarforSchools oversees the projects, installation and long term management and administration of the panels. The Schools simply agree to buy the clean electricity from a Community Benefit Society that holds the assets. As the Community Benefit Society repays investors over time, the remaining profits are shared with the schools.
SolarforSchools now manages systems on 47 schools in the UK and is receiving around 50 school registrations per month. The company earns a development fee for initial administration and installation, and ongoing asset management fees for managing the solar panels on the schools and providing educational support and learning opportunities related to renewable energy to students.
As funds for the solar panels will be partly raised though SolarforSchools’ own crowdfunding platform in the future, the company is testing crowdfunding by attempting to raise 400k on crowdcube.com/sfs by the 21st of July. The funds will be used to develop the online platform further and accelerate the growth of the company.
To find out more or see how much a school near you could achieve with solar panels visit www.solarforschools.co.uk.