Two Galway schools to receive solar panels in new renewable energy project

galway daily news City Council awarded €606k for social housing energy efficiency upgrades
Pic: Naoise Culhane

Two schools in Co Galway will receive new solar panels as part of a new renewable energy project announced today by Microsoft Ireland and SSE Airtricity.

Coláiste Bhaile Chláir and St Augustine’s National School, Ballinasloe will be given internet-connected solar panels, allowing them to power their classrooms from their own roofs.

With an investment of close to one million euro, the partnership will see Microsoft and SSE Airtricity install and manage the solar panels in 27 primary and secondary schools across Connaught, Leinster and Munster.

Over 15 years, it is expected that they will produce enough clean energy to offset approximately 2.1 million kilograms of harmful C02 emissions.

Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland said that it is the company’s mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more.

“By harnessing the power of technology, we can live out our mission in a way that protects our planet and our local communities,” she said.

“We are delighted therefore to partner with SSE Airtricity on this important project.

“Collectively we can take a step in the right direction and harness the power of innovative technology to help generate renewable energy and go some way towards offsetting carbon emissions.”

A key objective of the project is to educate students about the role they can play in combating climate change.

Digital screens have been set up in all 27 schools to enable the students to track energy use in real time and see the impact of the energy efficiency upgrades in their school.

Students from the schools will also participate in a programme designed to educate and inform young people about the challenges posed by climate change and the role technology can play in creating more sustainable communities across Ireland.