Microsoft Ireland and SSE Airtricity have announced a new renewable energy project to enable schools to power classrooms using energy generated from their own roof.

This will help the schools reduce their carbon footprint and their costs. 

With an investment of almost €1m, the partnership will see Microsoft and SSE Airtricity install and manage the internet-connected solar panels in 27 primary and secondary schools across the country. 

The schools are connected via Azure Internet of Things to Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform. 

Over 15 years, it is expected that the solar panels will produce enough clean energy to offset approximately 2.1 million kilograms of harmful C02 emissions.

Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, said the company's mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more. 

"By harnessing the power of technology, we can live out our mission in a way that protects our planet and our local communities," Ms Hallahan said.

"With an investment of close to €1m from the Microsoft Sustainability Fund, not only will 27 schools now power their classrooms using energy generated from their own rooftops, reducing their carbon footprint and costs, we will also look to prove the viability of distributed energy generation by aggregating and analysing real-time data on energy generated by the solar panels," she added.

Klair Neenan, Managing Director of SSE Airtricity, said that providing renewable energy solutions is in the company's DNA.

"We are delighted to partner with Microsoft Ireland on a project that will deliver real, tangible benefits for these 27 schools and their communities, supporting them on their decarbonisation journey," Ms Neenan said. 

"We are focused on delivering initiatives that will make a real difference in helping Ireland move a step closer to achieving our ambitious 2030 climate targets, while providing practical energy solutions that will support communities, businesses and policymakers on the collective path to net zero," she added.