Green Party scheme to put solar panels in every school in the country
Schools across Ireland will be able generate their own green energy thanks to a Green initiative to put solar panels on the roof of every school in the country. The Green Party plan was announced today (23rd November) by Green Party Minister Ossian Smyth and Education Minister Norma Foley. The scheme will provide every school in the country with approximately 16 solar panels to create energy for their own use and for sale to the energy grid.
Today’s announcement of a first wave of solar panels for schools opened the way for schools in Clare, Donegal, Dublin City, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Limerick, Offaly, Waterford and Wicklow.
The Climate Action Fund will cover the full cost of installing 6 kilowatts of roof-mounted solar panels on all State schools. The solar panels will also be connected to the electricity grid, so that the schools can generate income by powering other homes and businesses with clean energy when the schools are closed at weekends and during holidays.
The typical school could expect to save in the region of €1,200 – 1,600 a year on their energy bill, through a combination of reduced bills and selling electricity to the grid.
Ossian Smyth TD, Minister of State for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy, said;
“Schools across the country will not only taken an important green step forward to protect the environment, they will also see their electricity bills drop. Even when the school is closed, they will still make significant savings. I’ve visited schools with solar panels before and I was impressed with how they provoked a huge interest among students. These panels will be a way to teach students about how they can play their part for the climate.”
The scheme will assist schools in reducing both their energy costs and their carbon footprint, bringing Ireland closer to fulfilling its Climate Action Plan. The schools will also receive monitoring software allowing staff and students to review and learn about the energy generated. The sight of solar panels on their school roof will be an educational symbol to show students how they can contribute to taking climate action.