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.
Speaking about the solar project Paul Condon who is the Manager at the Amenities Centre said; “Following a review of the centre’s carbon footprint in the local community, we looked at how we could reduce our impact and decided to implement a number of changes. These changes included the possibility of installing solar panels along with updating all our bulbs to LEDs throughout the complex. Our Centre operates on a shoe string budget and one of our main outlays is electricity that services not only the centre but our car parks, gym and all weathers soccer pitches”.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 kindly donated the Solar Panels and facilitated their installation. As a result we are now getting solar energy for use in the centre and the overall result of this installation means we have reduced our carbon footprint and also reduced our electricity bill for the year. Many thanks to Intel for providing and installing these panels for us and making a positive impact in the local environment”.
Following on from the success of the project in 2017 and 2018 Intel is delighted to further continue our commitment to the solar initiative and to support our local communities as they pursue their renewable energy journey.
Speaking about the announcement to expand the project to Celbridge schools, External Relations Manager at Intel Ireland, Lisa Harlow, said; “Intel Ireland is committed to being a leader in environmental sustainability and we are proud to demonstrate that leadership by partnering with our local communities and providing innovative solar solutions to schools in Celbridge. These solar packages will help to make a real impact on how the schools manage and use energy in the future. We are delighted to continue our commitment to the project and look forward to sharing further details in the weeks ahead”.
Installation of the solar packages in Celbridge will take place over the summer months and full details of the participant schools will be shared at a formal launch in September.
Intel plans to further expand the project into the Maynooth area in 2020.