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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

A Sunny Day for Schools in Offaly

Today, the Solar for Schools Programme was launched.

The scheme will open to applications on a phased basis from 30th November and will provide eligible schools with 6 kilowatts of roof-mounted solar PV, which equates to approximately 16 solar panels.

Offaly schools are included in the first phase of the programme and the Department of Education will contact schools with details on eligibility and how to apply. I hope that all schools in Offaly will share my enthusiasm and that soon we will see Solar PV panels on the majority of our schools across the county.

The scheme will be funded from the Government’s Climate Action Fund and, as a Green Party member of Government, I fully support this initiative as recognition that taking action on climate change is central to Ireland’s social and economic development.

The 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.

While the typical amount a school can save will depend on a number of factors, the estimate I have received is that 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 money they’ve earned for selling electricity to the grid is taken into account.

Monitoring software will also be provided to each school, and I believe this will be a great subject for discussion for both staff and students. I see this scheme as having the potential to inspire pupils to bring home what they have learned to their parents about the benefits of PV panels.

The first phase will open for applications on 30th November 2023. All schools in the first phase, as Offaly is, will be contacted by the Department and invited to apply from that date. School authorities will be provided with funding from the Department of Education to have the PV panels installed by a registered contractor, with guidance from the Department.


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