Microsoft, SSE Airtricity deliver solar panels to Irish colleges
In 15 years, solar modules should offset around 2.1 million kilograms of harmful CO2 emissions
Microsoft Ireland and SSE Airtricity have announced a new renewable energy project to help Irish schools reduce their carbon footprint.
As part of the project, 27 schools across Ireland will have internet connected solar panels on the roof so that each school can generate enough electricity for 68 Irish households for a full year.
Over the next 15 years, the solar modules should produce enough clean energy to offset around 2.1 million kilograms of harmful CO2 emissions.
With an allegedly almost € 1 million investment from the Microsoft Sustainability Fund, Microsoft and SSE Airtricity will install and manage internet-connected solar panels that are connected to Microsoft Azure via Azure IoT.
With the project, Microsoft and SSE Airtricity want to demonstrate the feasibility of decentralized energy generation and open up the energy saving and CO2 reduction potential of solar roofs throughout Ireland and beyond.
The software tools aggregate and analyze real-time data on the energy generated by the solar modules, thus demonstrating a mechanism for Microsoft and other companies to achieve sustainability goals and reduce the carbon footprint of the power grid.
“Together we can take a step in the right direction and harness the power of innovative technologies to generate renewable energy and offset carbon emissions,” said Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland. “With the installation of solar panels and the new data-driven insights from Microsoft’s Azure cloud, we look forward to enabling sustainable practices inside and outside the school gate. Together we hope to unlock the energy saving and CO2 reduction potential of solar roofs across Ireland and perhaps one day around the world. “
“With this new collaborative project, students across Ireland can see firsthand how sustainability and renewable energy can be combined to tackle climate change while benefiting their school and community on a daily basis,” added Klair Neenan, Managing Director of SSE Airtricity. added.
A main goal 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 so that students can track energy usage in real time and see the impact of energy efficiency improvements in their school.
As part of the project, students in the schools will participate in a program to educate and educate young people about the challenges of climate change and the role technology plays in creating more sustainable communities across Ireland. The three-part curriculum is currently under development and will cover a range of topics including renewable energy, sustainability and technology. Classes are delivered through a range of interactive activities and challenges to bring sustainability into everyday school life.
The Kinsale Community School is one of the 27 schools involved in the project and recently received its solar panel installation. Fergal McCarthy, director of the Kinsale Community School, said the installation was the result of years of working with Microsoft: “Our school has worked with Microsoft for several years to bring our digital vision to life. After visiting DreamSpace, Microsoft’s innovation and education center on the Dublin campus, we created our own version of the experience for our students. We have since joined the Microsoft Innovative School community and it has been a great experience for us as a school to open our minds to doing things differently through technology, which we really saw as a skill this year.
“Participating in this project is a natural next step for the Kinsale Community School and our students. Sustainability is very important to us not only because it lowers our costs and our carbon footprint, but also because we can inform our students about the positive effects of innovative technologies on our school and the entire Kinsale community. We are very happy to have been selected to take part in this project. “