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Matthews: Wicklow Included in First Round of School Solar Rollout

Green TD Steven Matthews has confirmed that Wicklow has been included in the first phase of funding that will provide free solar panels to all schools in the county. It will provide eligible schools with 6 kilowatts of roof-mounted solar PV, which equates to approximately 16 solar panels. The full cost of installing the solar panels will be paid for entirely by the state’s Climate Action Fund and the scheme will open for applications from November 30th. Welcoming this progress, Deputy Matthews said:




“I am delighted that Wicklow schools will be in the first phase of counties to have solar panels installed. This wasn’t an easy process and required significant work behind the scenes to get to this point.  The removal of planning permission for solar panels was a huge hurdle and it means that schools get the ball rolling on their solar applications much faster than they could have otherwise.

 

“Applications will open on 30th November 2023. All schools in the first phase will be contacted by the Department of Education and invited to apply on that date.

 

“The provision of free solar panels for schools is a very practical measure that the Green Party introduced in Budget 2023 to assist schools with rising energy costs. Schools are at the centre of our communities, and it makes sense that schools will be at the forefront of Ireland's solar rollout. The transition to renewable energy sources will allow schools to reduce their energy bills and take action on climate change.

 

“I have been assured that the information provided to schools will make it clear how to apply, the timelines for completion and how the funding can be drawn down. The Department of Education has set up School Hub, a new online school community engagement platform that schools can liaise with on any teething issues.

 

“The solar PV panels in schools will also be connected to the electricity grid, so that solar energy can power other homes and businesses when schools are closed at weekends and during school holidays.

 

“The rapid installation of solar panels on schools and other buildings is crucial to achieving our climate objectives and I look forward to working directly with Wicklow schools to work through any queries they have in relation to the application process and rollout”, Deputy Matthews concluded.

 

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