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Pamplona: Schools equipped with photovoltaic solar panels


In 2001, Pamplona City Council, through its Energy Agency, began the ‘Net of Photovoltaic Schools’ project. The aim of the project is to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roofs of schools throughout Pamplona, for both educational purposes and to avoid CO2 emissions. Interactive displays linked to the panels provide an excellent educational tool by enabling children to see the energy production of the panel in real time, as well as information such as the total CO2 emissions avoided. In addition, the Energy Agency of Pamplona is developing an educational campaign for the schools with a variety of activities aimed at raising awareness of climate change and renewable energy among students, teachers and staff. The project also aims to promote renewable energy technologies to the local community.

Building details

Type of building Public schools, some of which have sports facilities used by the local community, and one museum
Year of construction / Floor area / Operating hours So far, three schools and one museum (the Environmental Education Museum of Pamplona) that are part of the Net project are also signed up for the Display® Campaign:

- Sanduzelai Public School

1970s/5,298 m2/96 hours/week (has sports facilities)

- Ermitagaña Public School

1970s/6,226 m2/96 hours/week (has sports facilities)

- Environmental Education Museum of Pamplona

18th Century/3,722 m2/51 hours/week

_ There are also three more schools that are signed up for the Display® Campaign, and will soon be part of the Net:

- Azpilagaña Public School

1987/5,243 m2/ 96 hours/week (has sports facilities)

- Cardenal Ilundáin Public School

1960/4,964 m2/60 hours/week (no sports facilities)

- Lago de Mendillorri Public School

1990s/7,630 m2/60 hours/week (no sports facilities)

Heating and cooling installed Most of the public schools in Pamplona have oil or gas heating, and do not have any cooling systems
Energy / Water / CO2 label Sanduzelai Public School:

Energy: B
Water: D

Ermitagaña Public School:

Energy: B
CO2: B
Water: D

Environmental Education Museum of Pamplona:

Energy: A
CO2: A
Water: D

Project description

Aim To install solar PV panels in every school in Pamplona for both educational purposes and in order to reduce net CO2 emissions from the schools
Key points The ‘Net of Photovoltaic Schools’ project was established with the aim of educating school children on renewable energy. As part of this project, Pamplona City Council is installing two solar PV panels each year, with the ultimate objective of installing panels in all of the 24 schools in Pamplona.
The solar PV panels are highly visible, normally on the roof of the school. This means that they are visible to both pupils and the local community, who use the sports facilities in some of the schools.

Sanduzelai Public School, with solar PV panels on the roof

Each solar PV panel is linked to an interactive display. From this display, pupils can see real data on the solar panel in their school, including energy production, solar PV panel temperature, outdoor temperature, solar radiation and CO2 emissions avoided. The display also shows the equivalent number of trees that would be needed to absorb the same amount of CO2 emissions avoided through using the solar panels.

Three different styles of interactive displays

The Energy Agency provides each school with a manual and an informative leaflet, which explain how the solar panels and the interactive display work.
By December 2006, there were twelve schools and one educational museum with solar PV panels, with a total capacity of 33 kW. As a result of the project 71 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been avoided.
As part of the project, the Energy Agency is also carrying out educational activities with children, teachers and staff in schools that belong to the Net, to raise awareness of climate change and renewable energy.

The Council is also working to improve the water performance of the schools; in 2007, systems to reduce water consumption were installed in toilets in some of the schools.

Reason for inclusion as Shining Example The Net of Photovoltaic Schools project is an excellent example of how renewable energy technology that reduces CO2 emissions, such as solar PV panels, can be combined with an educational programme to raise awareness of climate change and renewable energy. The interactive display that is linked to the solar panels allows children to see real-time data on the panel in their school, making the function of the solar panel more visible to them. The prominent position of the panels on the rooftops means that they can also be seen by and promoted to the local community.

Costs & Benefits

Costs and funding The total cost of the project was €292,900. IDAE (Instituto para la Diversificación y el Ahorro de la Energía – Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving) subsidised 20-40% of each installation (note: IDAE is a national organisation funded by Spain’s national government to promote renewable energy and energy saving). The remainder of the costs were financed by the City Council of Pamplona.
The energy produced by the solar panels receives a feed-in tariff that is 475% greater than the referential tariff.
The payback time for this project is ten years.
Benefits Below are the details of the solar PV panels installed in six of the twelve schools and one museum, in the following format: date of installation, peak power, theoretical energy production, theoretical CO2 emissions avoided.

- Mendillorri Public School:

May 2002, 2 kWp, 2,250 kWh/year, 2.3 tCO2/year

- San Juan de la Cadena Public School:

January 2003, 2.12 kWp, 2,384 kWh/year, 2.4 tCO2/year

- Sanduzelai Public School:

January 2003, 2.12 kWp, 2,384 kWh/year, 2.4 tCO2/year

- Environmental Education Museum of Pamplona:

June 2004, 2.24 kWp, 2,810 kWh/year, 2.8 tCO2/year

- Vazquez de Mella Public School:

October 2004, 2.23 kWp, 3,288 kWh/year, 3.5 tCO2/year

- Hegoalde Public School:

November 2005, 3.6 kWp, 5,516 kWh/year, 5.8 tCO2/year

- Ermitagaña Public School:

February 2007, 3.24 kWp, 4,251 kWh/year, 4.2 tCO2/year

_ All of the solar PV panels are connected to the public electricity grid, and the energy produced is sold to the distributors.
The solar PV systems do not help the schools reduce their energy consumption, but in net terms reduce their CO2 emissions.
From 2004 to 2006 the panels have produced 63,473 kWh in total, which equates to 21,158 kWh each year. This figure is growing each year as more panels are installed.
Approximately 71 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been avoided in three years.
The total money saved in this three-year period is €26,000 (€0.41/kWh). This is almost 10% of the total cost of the project.
The Net project is helping children, teachers and staff to learn about renewable energy and climate change.

Children playing at Hegoalde Public School, solar PV panels are visible on the roof behind

Partnership details

Partners & role The Pamplona Energy Agency led this project. The Energy Agency is funded by the City Council of Pamplona.
IDAE contributed funding for the project.
The regional Government of Navarra secured the subsidy from IDAE for the Energy Agency.


Achievements In undertaking this project, the Energy Agency of Pamplona has encountered some technical problems with adapting solar panels to existing roofs. A way of overcoming this obstacle is discussed below under lessons learned.

The Energy Agency is undertaking monthly monitoring of the electricity production of the solar panels. The success of the project is also being evaluated through interviews with teachers and staff from the schools.

The Net of Photovoltaic Schools project has been very successful for raising awareness of climate change and renewable energy both in the schools and the local community. All of the people who have been involved in the project, including school children, parents, teachers, school staff and those running the project, are very happy with the results.

The project is having a widespread impact in terms of raising awareness of renewable energy, both in the local community and further afield. At the start of 2007, journalists from the BBC were recording a documentary about renewable energy in Navarra. As part of this work, they interviewed two children and one teacher from the Iturrama Public School about the Net of Photovoltaic Schools project. The resulting article can be viewed here: BBC news
Lessons Learned The key success of this project was incorporating the installation of a renewable energy technology with an informative display panel and an awareness-raising educational program in order to maximise the benefits of the project.
In future, solar PV panels might be installed in locations other than on the roof. Adapting the panels to existing roofs limits their size and therefore their energy production capacity. To overcome this problem, solar PV panels could be integrated into school playgrounds.

To know more

Organisation name Ayuntamiento de Pamplona
Contact Ana Belén Muneta
Phone 0034 948 229 572
Email Ana Belén Muneta
Website Pamplona

Useful info

Website BBC news

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