Bridgerule CoE Primary School has come together with Ripple Energy to become a proud part-owner of Derril Water Solar Park 

Ripple are proud to support Bridgerule Church of England Primary School in their mission to become a solar pioneer by owning part of Ripple Energy’s Derril Water Solar Park – a UK first in renewable energy ownership.

Bridgerule CoE Primary School has joined thousands in becoming an owner of Derril Water Solar Park, taking action on climate change and reducing their energy bills. 

Located less than 2 miles from the school, the solar park will be up to 42 MW with the potential to power up to 14,000 homes across Britain. Bridgerule CofE Primary School, which has 80 pupils and is part of the Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, has come together with Ripple Energy to leverage the positive impact of solar energy, allowing Bridgerule to use their own green energy to power the school and reduce its energy bills.

Derril Water Solar Park is Ripple Energy’s third people-powered project, following the successful launch of two wind farms – Graig Fatha in Wales and Kirk Hill in Scotland (the UK’s first and largest of its kind). Bridgerule CofE Primary School follows in the footsteps of Bishop Cornish CofE School in Cornwall which signed up to Kirk Hill wind farm last year. 

Derril Water prior to construction

The shares provided to the school are estimated to provide electricity bill reductions of over £22,000 and total carbon savings of 18,604kg over the 40 years of the solar park’s lifetime. As the government aims to decarbonize the UK’s electricity fully by 2035, the school not only receives savings, but also becomes part of an urgent and important movement to ensure a greener and sustainable future. 

Ripple has offered ownership of the solar park to the local community and ring-fenced 10% of the shares in Derril Water for local households and businesses to buy within the first two weeks, so they can own and be supplied by their local solar park. In addition, the project will create a Community Benefit Fund which will provide £1,000/MW annually – expected to be up to  £42,000 per year towards good causes in the local community. Working closely with the local community, Ripple and the co-op will determine how best the fund is used. RES, the renewable energy company who developed the project, has committed £15,000 towards the warm hub project at the local village hall and will match funds raised locally in support of the project. 

Emma Goodwin, Headteacher at Bridgerule CofE Primary School 

“The cost of energy is a huge concern for everyone currently – families, schools and businesses alike. We’re incredibly lucky to be part of a project that helps us move toward net zero and this is such a fantastic opportunity for our children to learn first-hand about sustainability in the local community. Being a Church of England School, our children are always actively looking for ways to care for our planet, and involvement with Derril Water fits superbly with our quest to gain an Eco-School’s Green Flag. When Ripple Energy approached us to offer shares in the project we were overjoyed and we’re incredibly proud to have embraced this fantastic solution to renewable energy access.”

Mark Butler, Director of Infrastructure at Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust

 “Securing a renewable source of energy production for the school is an amazing opportunity to continue our commitments to educating our students about the positive impacts that technology can bring to help build a more sustainable future as well as our Trust wide net-zero ambition. We are extremely excited and fortunate to be working with Ripple especially in light of the recent energy price rises which have directly impacted school budgets. This project joins a growing portfolio of sustainable energy initiatives across the Trust. ”

Sarah Merrick, CEO of Ripple Energy

 “As the UK’s first shared solar park, Derril Water offers the public, schools and businesses an opportunity to become part of the blueprint for consumer-owned solar energy. Providing access to this for Bridgerule Primary School demonstrates the exciting and powerful potential to make real climate impact and create a greener future. As well as enabling consumers and businesses all over GB to own part of Derril Water, we want to ensure those closest to the project also directly benefit.”

Ripple’s involvement in Derril Water Solar Park comes in the wake of landmark reports that have highlighted the urgent need to implement more ambitious climate action plans, against a backdrop of unstable energy prices. Ripple is designed to be accessible to all: even if you can’t put solar on your roof or don’t have the opportunities to make energy efficiency improvements to your home because you rent, you can still have your own source of low-cost, clean energy.

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