A BEXLEY school has joined forces with a renewable energy company for a project which could provide the school with all of its energy needs.

Bexley Business Academy and Dartford company Enevis, have put in a planning application to Bexley Council to create a solar farm on the academy’s land in Yarnton Way, Thamesmead.

But the plans are dependent on the scheme qualifying for the government’s Feed In Tariff which provides a guaranteed payment for the energy for small-scale producers.

The government is currently reviewing the scheme to prevent large-scale projects from profiting from it and changes are due to be announced in August.

It is hoped to create the solar farm on 4.2 acres of academy land, on the site of former Thamesmead Community College buildings, now demolished.

Scrub grass currently covers the site which is also prone to flooding and shielded from view on one side by 10ft high hoarding.

The farm would consist of 133 frames each containing 20 photovoltaic or solar panels, arranged in 15 rows and standing 2.4m (eight feet) high, among the grass.

Electricity generated by the panels would be carried in an underground cable to an existing sub-station on the school site.

The energy would be used by the academy during term time and during the school holidays would be fed into the National Grid with any payment going to the academy.

Plans also include a dipping pond, wildflower meadow and a native 2.5m hedgerow fronting Yarnton Way and areas attractive for reptiles and invertabrates.

They also propose a single storey classroom for use as renewable energy resource centre for the academy and other schools, with a sedum roof and a curved galss wall to provide a viewing area.

The applicants say, if approved, the farm would take five weeks to install.

The academy is housed in a Norman Foster designed building mainly consisting of glass, which is classed as having one of the worst energy ratings for a school building, in the country.

It uses around 1,163,320 kilowatts of energy and its electricity bill is around £104,700 a year.

Its energy demands for lighting, heating and running its hi-tech equipment are draining the school of much needed cash, the application claims.

According to the academy and Enevis, the solar farm could generate around 519,894 kilowatts, saving the school around £46,790 or 45 per cent of its annual energy bill.