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Crofty Multi-Academy Trust – investing in solar

Left to right: Sean Pinhay, CFOO, Crofty MAT, Adam Longfield, Project Manager, SW Net Zero Hub, Steve Eva, Estates Manager, Crofty MAT, Simon Hague, CEO, Crofty MAT

Project Summary

The Hub worked with Crofty Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) – a group of sixteen schools in West Cornwall – to bring forward their commitment to invest in energy measures that reduce operational costs and carbon emissions.

In 2020 the Hub commissioned a feasibility report across all the Trust’s schools to identity where there might be opportunities for solar photovoltaics (PV). The Hub presented various funding options, along with business cases to help enable informed decision making.

The Trust decided to self-fund solar PV in a phased approach, starting with a pilot in 2023. With support from the Hub two schools were selected, Lanner School in Redruth and Roskear School in Camborne.

The Hub worked with Crofty MAT on the procurement process, creating a technical specification and evaluating supplier bids. A total of 93kW was installed to provide cost savings of c. £17k a year.

It’s hoped that this successful project will encourage The Trust to develop solar PV across more of their schools.

Our Role

The Hub supported the scheme as follows: 

  • Funding and procuring a PV feasibility report 
  • Reviewing and presenting funding options 
  • Creating a technical specification 
  • Evaluating supplier bids 
  • Providing ad-hoc advice and support 

Overall, the support provided Crofty MAT with the confidence to proceed with a considerable investment into an energy measure that they had no previous experience with. 


Lanner School, Redruth and Roskear School, Camborne, in Cornwall. 

Technology / What Happened

Solar PV – 36kW and 57kW roof-mounted PV systems. The scheme will generate c. 93MWh of renewable energy and save c.19tCO2 per year.

Financing and Ownership

The scheme is funded, owned, and operated by Crofty MAT.  It’s expected that the schools will consume at least 60% of this energy on site, helping to reduce operational costs, with surplus sold back to the grid. 


The scheme provides on-site renewable energy generation, to reduce carbon emissions, operational costs, and provide a learning opportunity for pupils and staff.  

Sean Pinhay, Crofty MAT’s Chief Financial & Operating Officer said: 

“The Trust received support from Adam who generously provided his expertise at all stages of the process; from feasibility to determine which schools were suitable for PV systems, to drafting the specification, and then on to supporting us through the entire tendering process. 

What we particularly liked about working with the Hub was the time Adam gave to clearly explain all our options and help us to understand the renewable energy sector in more detail. He also ensured we got best possible value from the budget allocated.  

With Adam’s support, a process that can be full of pitfalls was instead seamless from end to end. The two PV systems were installed on time and to budget using local contractors and are already providing CO2 and cost savings that exceed original projections. 

I look forward to working with the Hub in the near future when we hope to add further PV systems to other schools within the Trust.” 

Adam Longfield, SW Net Zero Hub’s Project Manager (Cornwall) said:  

“I’m so pleased to have been able to support Crofty to develop their first self-funded PV at Lanner and Roskear Schools. The diligent procurement process has meant that quality components have been installed in a competent manner. An online monitoring system is included to ensure that Crofty has sight of system performance so that projected benefits are realised in the long term. I look forward to working with Crofty on the next phase.” 

Next Steps

Crofty MAT hope to work with the Hub to add further PV systems to other Trust schools in the future.

Key Facts


Crofty Multi Academy Trust
Strategic priority Renewable Energy Generation 
Energy generation/savingc. 93MWh p.a. (c. 60% utilised on site) 
TimelineInstalled summer / autumn 2023 
Carbon saving c.19tCO2 p.a. 
Project value c. £93,000