Argyll and Bute Council is set to borrow almost £1 million to install solar panels at Rothesay Joint Campus and four other new schools across the council area.
But the authority hopes that the money saved in reduced energy bills will pay back the cost of the project within ten years.
A full business case for the installation of solar panels at the schools - all of them built in the last decade as part of the council’s NPDO not-for-profit public-private partnership - indicates that ‘prudential borrowing’ of around £943,273 will be needed to put the scheme into effect.
The scheme is expected to result in a total annual saving of £94,686 and, when added to eight solar panel installations at schools which are not part of the NPDO project, an annual carbon saving of 432 tonnes.
The five NPDO schools to receive solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are Rothesay Joint Campus, Dunoon Grammar, Hermitage Academy, Oban Primary Campus and Lochgilphead Joint Campus.
‘Prudential borrowing’ is when capital money is spent on something which will either reduce running costs or generate income. The saving made or extra income generated is then used to pay for interest and/or repayments on the sum borrowed.
The proposed Rothesay installation will have a capacity of 246 kilowatts and a total project cost of £293,118. It is expected to result in a total yield of 196,800 kilowatt hours (kWh) per annum, reduced energy bills of £32,574 a year, and annual carbon savings of 103 tonnes.