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Alternative Energy in Support of Irish Schools To Apply for Schools Photovoltaic Programme

The Department of Education recently launched Phase I of the Schools Photovoltaic Programme (SSP) in association with the DECC as part of the government’s Climate Action Plan for 2030 and 2050. The programme is set to offer funding of up to 6 kWp of roof-mounted solar PV. The schools need to undergo a competitive tender process to be eligible for provision. Over 1600 institutions are invited to register starting November 30, 2023.

Different academic buildings have different energy needs and PV design requirements. Therefore, it is imperative to have the most appropriate PV designs for the buildings to achieve a realistic quote for the tender and reach their sustainable energy benchmarks diligently.

This is why the DoE has made it mandatory that photovoltaic systems be designed, installed, and commissioned by listed contractors under the Non-Domestic Micro-Generator (NDMG) companies registered with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Alternative Energy is proud to introduce exclusive PV installation plans to support schools looking for solar installers to tender.

Key Highlights of Timelines for Phase I of the Schools Photovoltaic Programme:

  • 30, November 2023: Applications are open for invited schools to register
  • 1 February 2024: Last date for schools to complete registration
  • 15 March 2024: Last date for schools to submit quotes for PV installation cost
  • 30 May 2024: The target date to complete all the Phase I PV installations.
solar panel installing in school

What is the Schools Photovoltaic Programme and Which Schools are Eligible in Ireland?

The Schools Photovoltaic Programme (SPP) is a devolved multi-annual programme to provide funding for dedosigning and installing solar PV systems of up to 6kWp by SEAI-registered solar PV contractors and under guidelines set by the DoE.

Pubic schools that are recognised under the “Free Education Scheme” are limited to participating in the scheme. The DoE has sent notifications for registration. It will cover the following areas: Dubin City Council Area, Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Waterford, Limerick, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Offaly, and Wicklow.

Eight more counties are to be added to phase two in Q2 2024, and the last eight counties are to be included in Q4 2024. By the end of 2024, it is hoped that every qualifying school in the nation will be able to apply to the programme.

What Will The SSP Funding Cover?

Eligible schools will have to select and tender solar PV contractors to assess the energy needs of the building and develop a quote to claim the provisioned grant.

  • Up to 6kWp roof-mount solar PV system
  • Up to 16 solar panels
  • Solar inverter systems to convert DC power to AC
  • Cabling, racking, and other connectors are needed to integrate the PV system for full operation.
  • Monitoring software to review energy generation and consumption

Note: The provision will not cover solar energy storage systems or solar batteries since the setup will be on-grid and surplus energy will feed back to the grid when the school is closed.

How Can Alternative Energy Assist With The Schools Photovoltaic Programme?

Alternative Energy is a SEAI-listed Non-Domestic Micro-Generator (NDMG) company. We have developed exclusive service packages for participating schools to get our undivided attention while applying all the following important steps to get the payment for switching to solar:
  • Assessment and Quotation: We will visit your school building and assess the roofing and building infrastructure to declare suitability for PV installation.
  • SSP Application: We can assist school authorities in registering and go through the application process
  • Monitoring & Reporting: Assist in developing annual reports of energy usage to adhere to the M&R guidelines set forth mutually by the DECC and SEAI.
  • Technical Support: We will offer need-based problem-solving by monitoring and engineering PV systems to keep them compliant with the SSP guidelines.
  • Planning Requirement: We can also assist schools with the necessary planning requirements that hold the status of Protected Structure or are situated in an Architectural Conservation Area, and require Loca Authority approval for the tender.

We are inviting eligible Irish schools to make the best use of the SSP and switch to sustainable energy so that young students can learn the course of renewable energy with real experience and also reduce current energy bills. Get in touch with us at Alternative Energy today to discuss the programme and how it can work for your school building.