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All Irish schools to get free solar panels

by | 6 Dec 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

The Schools Photovoltaic Programme has kicked off

Today marks a pivotal moment in Ireland’s educational and environmental journey. Norma Foley TD, the Minister for Education, alongside Ossian Smyth, Minister of State for the Environment, Climate, and Communications, have officially launched the groundbreaking Solar for Schools Programme. This initiative is set to revolutionise how educational institutions in Ireland approach energy consumption and sustainability.

At the core of this programme is the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in eligible schools across the country. Each participating school will receive 6 kilowatts of roof-mounted solar PV, equivalent to roughly 16 solar panels.

Benefits beyond electricity bills

The Solar for Schools Programme isn’t just about reducing energy costs; it’s a comprehensive response to the ambitious targets set in the 2030 and 2050 Climate Action Plans specific to schools. Additionally, the scheme enables schools to contribute to the national grid, selling excess clean energy generated during weekends and holidays.

The potential for savings

The amount saved by each school will vary, but to illustrate, a school equipped with a 6 kW solar PV system could potentially see annual savings between €1,200 and €1,600. This calculation takes into account the revenue earned from feeding surplus energy back into the grid.

Beyond its financial and environmental benefits, the programme also includes the provision of monitoring software for schools. This software will serve as an educational tool, allowing students and staff to engage directly with the data and learn about the energy their school is generating.

Phased roll-out

The programme’s implementation will be phased, ensuring a controlled and effective deployment. The first call for applications will open to over 1,600 schools in 11 designated areas, with subsequent phases expanding the scheme’s reach. Designated schools are located in the following areas: Clare, Donegal, Dublin City Council Area, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Limerick, Offaly, Waterford, Wicklow.

Guidance and support

To assist schools and contractors participating in the programme, the Department of Education has crafted comprehensive guidance documentation, ensuring all parties are well-informed and supported throughout the process. Invited school Authorities will be provided with funding approval from the Department of Education to enter a contract following a competitive tender process for the provision of a solar PV system. This system will be designed, installed and commissioned by a contractor on the SEAI Non-Domestic Micro-Generator (NDMG) Company list.

The entire documentation is available here

Key dates for this programme

  • 30th November 2023 – Applications invited from over 1,600 schools
  • 1st February 2024 – Deadline for schools to register for the programme
  • 15th March 2024 – Deadline for schools to submit quotes to the Department
  • 30th May 2024 – Target date for completion of phase 1 PV installations

Invited schools must register for the programme and receive confirmation of eligibility before seeking quotations for the works. Tendering contractors will provide quotations directly to the schools who in turn will submit these to the Department of Education for review and provision of full funding for approved costs.

What’s included?

  • A complete 6kW Solar PV system
  • Full connection to the grid
  • Monitoring and display screen

All schools must register and receive confirmation of eligibility before seeking quotations.

How can we help?

Solis Green Energy is SEAI registered for domestic and commercial installations and featured on the SEAI Non-Domestic Micro-Generator (NDMG) Company list. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us: our solar specialists will be happy to advise and provide a competitive quotation.

You can reach out to us via phone at 01.5312030 or send us an email at: sales@solisgreenenergy.com

Safe travels on your solar journey!

Embarking on your solar adventure might seem daunting, but armed with the right information and guidance, it can be a journey worth taking.



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