Schools set to be part of ‘rooftop revolution’ as new solar panel grants announced

All schools are to be fitted with solar panels as part of a new plan that is being drawn up.

Details are still being finalized but Cabinet are understood to have given broad support to the idea as part of what Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan has described as Ireland’s “rooftop revolution”.

It would retrofit every school in the country with rooftop solar panels and other forms of solar PV panels.

The move would help reduce future energy bills for schools grappling with large electricity bills this winter.

It would also increase renewable electricity generation and cut carbon emissions, and schools could make money by feeding excess electricity into the national grid on weekends and holidays.

The initiative will complement a solar funding program announced today for businesses, sports organizations and community groups.

Subsidies of up to 2,400 euros are to be granted for the installation of solar systems on the company’s own and managed properties.

This corresponds to the maximum subsidy that is currently available to households for private solar modules.

Applicants eligible for the new program can install up to 6 kWp solar PV or about 16 panels covering 25 square meters.

The Ministry of the Environment estimates that with the current high prices, €3000 could be saved on electricity bills annually.

The organizations will also be able to participate in the micro-generation scheme, which allows households to be paid or given credit for feeding excess electricity into the grid.

“This new grant program is part of a broader rollout of initiatives to make solar installation easier and cheaper for homeowners, businesses and public entities,” said Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan.

“This is Ireland’s umbrella revolution.”

The new grants will be managed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

Education Secretary Norma Foley welcomed the move, which she said would complement the rollout of EV charging infrastructure in schools.

Ms Foley said some schools have installed solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations as part of the Summer Works Scheme and that approach will continue and expand, including SEAI grants so schools don’t have to make duplicate applications to different bodies. Schools set to be part of ‘rooftop revolution’ as new solar panel grants announced

Fry Electronics Team

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