OCTOBER 19, 2020, MAYNOOTH, CO. KILDARE – Intel Ireland today announced the latest instalment in the ‘Solar for Schools’ program – a unique and innovative solar technology project that enables schools and community organisations in North Kildare to generate their own energy supply directly from the Sun.
The expansion of the Solar for Schools program this year has seen three schools in the Maynooth area and one in Leixlip receive a solar package. The package includes 12 highly efficient monocrystalline solar modules per school along with a monitoring system and 40″ TV to display the live output. The schools also receive operation and management support of the system for 3 years and engagement with the students by way of a ‘green chat’ which helps them to learn more about the solar program and energy conservation. Each student in the participating schools also received a special plantable seed bookmark to take home. The bookmark includes information about the program and is made entirely of biodiverse seeds, so can be planted by the students who can watch it grow over the coming months.
The four schools who have just joined the project are;
- Scoil Eoin Phoil, Leixlip, Co. Kildare
- Gael Scoil Ui Fhiaich, Maynooth, Co. Kildare
- Presentation Girls Maynooth, Maynooth, Co. Kildare
- Maynooth Educate Together, Maynooth, Co. Kildare
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 to match generation figures with that of consumption in the school, meaning that the schools will have very high consumption rates with very little excess energy being sent back to the grid.
In total this year, 48 monocrystalline solar modules have been installed at the five schools, generating a combined total of 12,800 kWhs per annum. By generating this green energy in the schools and reducing CO2 emissions, the combined systems will offset the equivalent of 1,173,112 smartphone charges annually.
Speaking about the initiative, Director of Public Affairs at Intel Ireland Hugh Hardiman said, “The work that schools and their students 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.”
Also speaking about the announcement of the expanded program, TD for North Kildare, Bernard Durkan, added;
“This collaboration between Intel and Gael Scoil Ui Fhiaich, Presentation Girls Maynooth, Maynooth Educate Together and Scoil Eoin Phoil, Leixlip is indeed a welcome development at an important juncture when the use of alternative energy as a means of carbon reduction is particularly appropriate. Furthermore, it presents a great opportunity for the youth of today to become immersed in such a proposal which will hopefully be the beginning of a lifetime interest for them as well as being involved in innovative technology”.
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 5 Leixlip schools are Scoil Bhride, Scoil Mhuire, Scoil San Carlo Junior, Scoil San Carlo Senior and Gaelscoil Ui Dhalaigh. Scoil Eoin Phoil in Leixlip has also joined the solar program this year.
Leixlip Amenities Centre
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. The display shows 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 produces over 7,000kWh of energy per year. Additionally, the battery system can 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.
Last year the Solar for Schools program expanded to include primary schools in the Celbridge area with five additional schools receiving a solar technology package. In total, 60 monocrystalline solar modules were installed across the five Celbridge schools, generating a combined total of 16,000 kWhs per annum. The Celbridge schools taking part are Scoil Mochua, Scoil Na Mainistreach, Primrose Hill N.S., Scoil Naomh Bríd and North Kildare Educate Together.
Since the Solar for Schools program first began, a total of 178 panels have been installed and enable the schools and community premises to generate their own energy rather than draw down from the grid. Every year, these panels generate a total of 54,000 units of electricity. To give an idea of how much energy this amounts to each year, here are some examples of what that electricity could power;
- 4,350,320 smartphone charges
- 540,000 boils of a kettle
- 82,500 hours of running a washing machine
- 900,000 hours of laptop use
- 1350 charges of an electric vehicle
Click here to see a full set of images for the Solar for Schools 2020 announcement.
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Media contact: Sarah Sexton | email@example.com | + 353 1 606 8537