ALL SCHOOLS in Clare will be able to apply for free solar panels under a new programme.
Eligible schools will be provided with 6 kilowatts of roof-mounted solar PV, which equates to approximately 16 solar panels. The Solar for Schools programme was announced by Minister for Education Norma Foley (FF) and Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications Ossian Smyth (GP). It comes more than a year after plans were first announced.
Co Clare is one of eleven counties included in the scheme along with Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Limerick, Offaly, Waterford, Wicklow, and the Dublin City Council area.
Schools will be assisted with reducing their energy costs and their carbon footprint as part of the response to meeting the 2030 and 2050 Climate Action Plan targets for the schools sector. The scheme will be funded from the Government’s Climate Action Fund with €50m allocated to the programme.
Solar PV panels in schools 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 schools are closed at weekends and during school holidays.
The typical amount a school can save will depend on a number of factors. However, by way of example, a school with a 6 kW Solar PV installation could expect to save in the region of €1,200-€1,600 per annum on their bill, when the credit they’ve earned for selling electricity to the grid is taken into account.
Senator Roisin Garvey (GP) stated, “This is something I have be worked on since day one in the Seanad and campaigned for many years before this in my work with Green Schools. Finally, not only are PV solar panels coming to schools, but they are being offered for free. It’s a dream come true and a promise I made to thousands of children over the years who were always wondering why it wasn’t being done. I committed to them that I would work to make happen”.