27 Mar 13

Swansea education project receives £18,000 green grant

An education project near Swansea has been awarded £18,000 from EDF Energy towards their renewable energy project allowing them to provide training all year round.

The grant comes from the EDF Energy Green Fund and will help pay towards a biomass boiler, providing all the heating and hot water needs, to be installed at the Down to Earth Project, in Murton near Swansea.

The education project, which specialises in working with disadvantaged groups, provides training on sustainability using the outdoors as a ‘learning tool’. A cob (earthen) building is being constructed to house the new biomass boiler. It means the centre can then be used all year round, increasing the number of groups that can be helped.

Logs harvested as part of the woodland management programme run by the project will fuel the boiler, which will be supplemented by two solar thermal panels.

The EDF Energy Green Fund supports renewable energy projects which produce power from the sun, wind, water and geothermal sources that reduce greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

Mark McKenna, Down to Earth Project Director, said: “We are so pleased to be awarded £18,000 from the EDF Energy Green Fund towards our energy saving project. At the Down to Earth Project we focus on hard to reach groups. We find that using the outdoors is a great way of engaging and inspiring others to make positive choices which will impact the environment. We have a number of different energy efficient practices from watering polytunnels from our rainwater harvesting system to building courtyard walls from earth. With the new biomass boiler we will be able to save energy, money and reduce our carbon emissions while being able to use it as a visual resource to improve the understanding of renewable technologies.”

The installation of the project is due to be completed this year, with funding also received from the local authority’s Transition grant scheme.

Darren Towers, EDF Energy’s Head of Sustainability, said: “EDF Energy has been able to invest millions of pounds in small-scale renewable schemes like the Down to Earth Project in Murton. It’s all part of our commitment to help build a low carbon future for Britain.”

Since the Green Fund was launched in 2001, EDF Energy has awarded more than £5 million to 305 renewable energy projects in the UK. More than £2 million has been given to 129 educational projects – including those in schools, nurseries and colleges.

Mr Towers added: “EDF Energy Green Fund renewable projects operate up and down the country. As well as producing renewable energy, they are a fantastic way to educate communities – and particularly children and young people – in the importance and benefits of low carbon.”

In all, ten projects have been awarded £127,490 in the latest EDF Energy Green Fund funding round.

Awards of up to £30,000 are available for projects in Great Britain and such funds have helped schools, charities, local authorities, churches, water mills and other non-profit organisations to generate clean, green energy in their own community.