Capital to save €21,000 a year with solar panels
Dublin City Council will cut its electricity bills by €21,000 a year by installing solar panels on the roof of the Civic Offices and at four public libraries.
The panels, which produce power using natural light as opposed to sunshine, will be installed on libraries in Coolock, Ballymun, Cabra and Raheny as well as its headquarters in Wood Quay. The panels are expected to cost €250,000.
But the cost of the installation will be repaid in just 13 years, after which the savings become permanent. The works are being funded in part by the EU, and the panels are expected to be installed later this year.
The Green business officer with the council, Mark Bennett, said he hoped the initiative would encourage businesses to install the technology to help reduce carbon emissions and cut bills. Local authorities in Tipperary have already deployed solar panels. "I would see this as lighting the touchpaper towards the roll-out of solar in the city. If the council can take the lead, others could follow," he said.
The move follows work completed between the council and IBM under the Smarter Cities challenge, where the technology giant provided $500,000 (€442,000) worth of free consultancy to see if the technology was suitable for the capital.
"It's a way for IBM to give back to cities but also figuring out what works. Dublin had a very strong application, and we were very impressed with their forward thinking and they clearly wanted to improve the lives of its citizens," Deirdre Kennedy from IBM said.
The company has worked with 116 cities on transport, water and energy projects.