Microsoft and SSE Airtricity help solar schools soar with new green energy partnership

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Microsoft and SSE Airtricity help solar schools soar with new green energy partnership

Microsoft Ireland and SSE Airtricity have today announced a new renewable energy project that enables schools to power classrooms using energy generated from their own roof, helping them to reduce their carbon footprint, and their costs.

With an investment of close to one million euro, the partnership will see Microsoft and SSE Airtricity, Ireland’s largest provider of 100% green energy†, install and manage the internet-connected solar panels in 27 primary and secondary schools across Connaught, Leinster and Munster, which are connected via Azure IoT to Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform. The panels installed across all 27 locations have the combined power to generate enough electricity for 68 Irish homes for a full year.

Microsoft and SSE Airtricity identified the opportunity to build renewable energy solutions that would enable consumers to generate power from sustainable sources, using the existing grid connection on their premises. Driven by a shared ambition to prove the viability of distributed energy generation it is hoped this project is a step towards opening the energy saving and carbon reduction potential of rooftop solar across Ireland, and the world.

The software tools aggregate and analyze real-time data on energy generated by the solar panels, demonstrating a mechanism for Microsoft and other corporations to achieve sustainability goals and reduce the carbon footprint of the electric power grid. Over 15 years, it is expected that the solar panels will produce enough clean energy to offset more than approximately 2.1 million kilograms of harmful CO2 emissions.

A key objective of the project is to educate students about the role they can play in combatting climate change. Digital screens have been set up in all 27 schools for students to track energy use in real time, allowing them to 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.

Currently in development, the 3-part syllabus will cover a range of topics, including renewable energy, sustainability biodiversity and technology. The lessons will be delivered through a series of interactive activities and challenges with the aim of bringing sustainability into daily school life and showing the role technology and renewable energy can play in creating a more sustainable future for the next generation.

Article Published: 29/09/2020