OCTOBER, 2019, CELBRIDGE, CO. KILDARE – Intel Ireland last week unveiled the latest installment in the ‘Solar for Schools’ initiative – a unique and innovative solar technology project that enables schools and community organisations in Kildare to generate their own energy supply directly from the sun.
On Friday, October 4th in Scoil Mochua in Celbridge Intel formally launched the 2019 expansion of the Solar for Schools project which has seen five schools in the Celbridge area receive a solar package which includes 12 highly efficient monocrystalline solar modules per school along with a monitoring system and 40″ TV to display the live output.
The five schools, all based in the Celbridge area, who are participating in the project are;
- Scoil Mochua
- Scoil Na Mainistreach
- Primrose Hill N.S.
- Scoil Naomh Bríd
- North Kildare Educate Together
Solar module technology has been installed in each of the participating schools allowing these energy users to generate their own energy rather than draw down energy from the grid. The aim of the project is to increase community focus on sustainability and create a greater understanding of how renewable energy and storage can help serve our energy needs.
The size of the system is designed specifically so as to match generation figures with that of consumption in the school, meaning that that the schools will have very high consumption rates with very little excess energy being sent back to the grid.
In total, 60 monocrystalline solar modules have been installed at the five schools, generating a combined total of 16,000 kWhs per annum.
By generating this green energy in the schools and reducing CO2 emissions, the combined systems will offset the equivalent of 1,466,390 smartphone charges annually.
The launch was event was attended by students and staff from each of the participating schools in Celbridge along with a number of representatives from the local community. Also in attendance was Prof. John Sweeney, Emeritus Professor of Geography in Maynooth University, who addressed the audience about the challenge of climate change. He told the assembled audience that “last year Ireland emitted the equivalent of 160,000 tonnes of carbon per day, a number that is increasing instead of decreasing and something which poses a real challenge to all of us. You each can become the new climate change leaders and there are many ways we can all work together to tackle this important challenge”.
Welcoming attendees to the launch event, Scoil Mochua principal Catherine Carragher said, “I am delighted to welcome you all here today to celebrate this wonderful example of community partnership. The students of today will be the leaders of the future and the secret to climate change is to educate our young people and to create awareness. This solar project has given us the opportunity to do just that and has encouraged awareness and activity right across the school down to the youngest students. We are extremely grateful to Intel for this project and for the chance to take part”.
Also speaking about the initiative, Director of Public Affairs at Intel Ireland Hugh Hardiman added, “The work that schools and their students, through the likes of their green school committees, are doing to support environmental sustainability is really to be admired. At Intel, we were keen to support that great work and to support local schools as they embark on their renewable energy journey. I hope that together we can make a real impact towards a sustainable environment.”
The event also included presentations from students at each of the five schools who have received the solar package. The students presented a variety of different things – from posters, to poems, songs and even dances that had been created to exemplify what solar energy and ‘going green’ means to them.
The Scoil Mochua student choir were also on hand to provide beautiful musical interludes throughout the event treating the audience to songs such as ‘This Little Light of Mine’ and their powerful rendition of ‘Sing for the Climate (do it now!)’.
Intel first launched the Solar for Schools initiative in 2017 providing Solar PV-and-Battery powered technology to 5 primary schools based in the Leixlip area. The solar technology enables the schools to generate and store their own energy rather than draw down energy from the grid. The aim of the project is to increase community focus on sustainability and create a greater understanding of how renewable energy and storage can help serve our energy needs. Each participating school received eight Solar PV panels (2kWp) and one LG Chem battery, each capable of storing up to 7kWh in electricity capacity per charge.
The initiative continued into 2018, taking on a slightly different approach, when the solar project was extended to the Leixlip Amenities Centre. The package installed at the Amenities Centre included 30 Solar PV panels and a sonnenBatterie intelligent storage system. The Sonnen battery stores the unused generated power from the solar PV array for later use ensuring that practically all the PV generated power can be utilised. The battery can also be set to charge on cheaper night rate electricity which can then be used during the day for further savings. In addition to the provision of solar equipment, a television display system was installed in the lobby of the Amenities Centre to show how the solar system is performing and to generate awareness amongst the centre users of the facility’s commitment to sustainable power usage.
The system installed at the Amenities Centre will produce over 7,000kWh of energy per year. Additionally, the battery system can to be timed to charge before sunrise from the grid and to discharge once the morning comes which can in turn lead to an additional reduction of over 3,500kWh each year.
The green energy generated from the sun and stored for use by the Amenities Centre is enough to offset over 3.7 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions annually, or the equivalent of planting 45 trees per year.
Intel plans to further expand the project into the Maynooth area in 2020.
Further images from the event are available to view here.
Additional information about Intel is available at:
Media contact: Sarah Sexton | firstname.lastname@example.org | + 353 1 606 8537