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Case Study:

PV Panels On County Hall



In 2016, Carlow County Council was behind target to meet energy efficiency commitments detailed for all public sector bodies in the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan. Identifying the significant energy users showed that County Hall used 18% of the building stock’s total electricity demand and had the second highest usage
after the Visual Art Theatre. Following on from several energy efficiency projects, including lighting upgrades and IT shutdown protocols, the next step was to examine generating electricity from renewable sources.


A solar PV array was subsequently designed for the County Hall building to maximise roof space and solar emissions. 15.75kW of PV panels were installed in September 2016, with 30% grant funding from the SEAI under the Better Energy Community grants programme. The PV array is south facing to maximise solar emissions, with an angle tilt of 10°. As County Hall is one of the tallest buildings in the area, the PV panels have no over-shading or visual issues with neighbouring buildings. (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Solar panels on Carlow County Hall.

Benefits of solution

The PV panels were estimated to generate 8% of the total electricity demand. Due to losses in the electrical grid, this equates to 9% savings of primary energy and CO2 reduction of 6,955kg. This measure alone accounts for 0.15% of the 33% energy efficiency target (relative to 2009 energy usage) local authorities are required to achieve by 2020.

The cost of the installation was €30,000, 30% of which was grant funded. Therefore, the total outlay for Carlow County Council, including VAT, design, and project management fees, was €24,245.50. The verified generated savings since installation equal 13,346kWh annually. At current electricity unit prices of €0.165/kWh, this
equates to an annual saving of €2,202. Simple pay back, including grant, is therefore 11 years.

Project Details:


The PV array was installed in September 2016 and went live on the 25th of October 2016. Since then, a total of 35,591kWh of electricity has been generated.

Further information
Carlow County Council
County Buildings
Athy Road
R93 E7R7
Tel: 059 917 0300
Local authority project contact
Brian O’Donovan
A/Senior Executive Officer
Tel: 059 913 623