HUNDREDS of solar panels have been installed at a Bicester school in the biggest scheme of its kind at a primary in Oxfordshire.

Bure Park Primary School had 240 solar panels put in over the May half-term, enough to generate 53,200kWh a year and power more than 15 homes.

Pupils on the school’s eco team worked with social enterprise Low Carbon Hub to set up the scheme, which officially launched on Wednesday, June 3.

The launch took place at the school in Lucerne Avenue and was attended by children, teachers, councillors and staff from the Low Carbon Hub.

Bure Park Primary headteacher Rob Pearson said: “We are very pleased with the solar panel installation and are looking forward to rolling out the education programme with the children.

"Our eco team has worked very hard to lower the energy consumption of the school and the solar panels will now mean we are using even less of our planet’s valuable resources.

“They make a welcome addition to the school and I want to congratulate everyone involved in the project.”

Member of the school’s eco team Tom Rowlinson, nine, from Bure Park said: “I think the panels are cool as we have been trying to save energy for a long time.”

Classmate Elise Taylor, 10, is also a member of the team and added: “The panels are really good as they will save energy and money for the school.”

Funds for the community-funded scheme were raised by the hub’s 2014 share offer, which raised £1.7m for local projects.

The school will get discounted green electricity, local investors get a return and the hub an income to keep supporting community energy projects such as the Osney Lock Hydro that is generating energy in West Oxford.

Low Carbon Hub’s project manager Anthony Simpson said: “The scheme has proved to be very popular with schools as they do not need to raise the finance to install solar PV – the panels are owned by the wider community of Oxfordshire.

“It also provides the schools with clean, green electricity and is a great educational tool.”

The largest school solar schemes that Low Carbon Hub have been involved with in Oxfordshire is at Matthew Arnold School, Cumnor Hill, Oxford, and the Banbury Academy – both with about 600 solar panels installed each.

This scheme has been championed for encouraging sustainability by Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Cherwell District Council and the Eco-Bicester team.