Government launches domestic solar power grant for homeowners

Save money on energy bills.

The Government has launched a new grant scheme encouraging homeowners to install solar power generators.

The pilot scheme offers grants for the installation of solar photovoltaic panels and battery storage systems. SEAI grant offers homeowners up to €3,800 to support the installation of Solar PV panels and battery energy storage systems. This will reduce the electricity a homeowner currently purchases from a supplier and can save you around €220 a year in electricity costs by taking advantage of the scheme.  Continue reading “Government launches domestic solar power grant for homeowners”

3CEA helped generate renewable energy on O’Shea Farms by delivering on a targeted energy saving project – O’Shea Farms are now providing Aldi with €70 million worth of Irish-grown potatoes.

O’Shea Farms is a family run business, they supply fresh vegetable produce to supermarkets across the country resulting in a year round electricity demand for refrigerated cold storage and grading equipment at their site. O’Shea Farms engaged with 3CEA back in 2015 to develop the renewable energy project at their site and installed the largest Solar PV system (250kWp) under the BEC programme run by Kilkenny County Council under their Sustainable Energy Action Plan. Continue reading “3CEA helped generate renewable energy on O’Shea Farms by delivering on a targeted energy saving project – O’Shea Farms are now providing Aldi with €70 million worth of Irish-grown potatoes.”

Opportunity for SMEs to avail up to 30% SEAI funding towards lighting upgrade

Why apply for SEAI Lighting Support Scheme?

  • Are you an SME, employing less than 250 people?
  • Want to upgrade to energy efficient lighting or Switching to LED lighting?

Lighting Support Scheme is a government-backed Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) initiative designed for small and medium-sized enterprises to reduce their business maintenance & running costs by implementing lighting upgrades.

Continue reading “Opportunity for SMEs to avail up to 30% SEAI funding towards lighting upgrade”

3CEA urges home owners to apply now for up to 50% grant aid under Deep Retrofit programme

HOME owners across Ireland with houses built in the 60s or 70s, or who are struggling to heat inefficient, more modern homes over 12 years old with an F or a G BER rating, are being urged to group together and apply for a new retrofit scheme which offers between 50% and 95% of grant aid. Continue reading “3CEA urges home owners to apply now for up to 50% grant aid under Deep Retrofit programme”

SME Lighting Upgrade Fund

SME Lighting Upgrade Fund

NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR SMEs TO AVAIL OF UP TO 40% FUNDING TOWARDS LIGHTING UPGRADE

This is an excellent opportunity for businesses (50 employees or less) to avail of funding towards lighting upgrades. An SEAI programme of support has been announced. Terms and conditions apply and can be found on the SEAI website. The application process requires a lighting audit and evaluation and we suggest that interested businesses contact us right now so that we can schedule a lighting expert to visit you (fee applies).

Please note, all works must be completed by 13th October 2017.

Continue reading “SME Lighting Upgrade Fund”

BEC 2016 – a summary

BEC 2016

BEC 2016: CKEA’s role and projects

Carlow County Council co-ordinated a large and diverse partnership, project managed by Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency. It included 7 sports clubs, 14 private companies (including 1 multinational), 4 local community groups, 1 school and 2 public buildings. The community facilities are mainly concentrated in the Carlow Kilkenny area while the private sector companies are also located in counties Cork, Kildare and Meath. All of the energy credits are going to the community groups and a number of other innovative finance models are being applied including EPRP funding streams.

Leetherm Project Management were the lead applicant in the next BEC 2016 project with CKEA as project co-ordinators, partnering with two private companies, Leetherm and Corca Communications. 12 transport companies entered into an ESCO (Energy Service Company) to reduce their fuel spend through driver training and the installation of a vehicle management system. The resultant energy credits will be donated to finance the community building upgrades. In addition to 55 North & East Housing Association homes in counties Meath and Louth, the community projects include O’Neill Centre Kilkenny, Macroom GAA, Macroom Senior Citizens, Mullinahone GAA, Cloneen Community Hall and Clonmel Golf Club, Carrick-on-Suir rugby club, Ballyhale and Graiguenamanagh national schools, community buildings in Kilkenny and Thomastown, six SOS Kilkenny buildings and Tiglin Challenge, Co Wicklow. The measures include insulation upgrades, lighting, window and door replacements, boiler and heating controls.

Galway County Council lead an application with CKEA providing project management. The projects are primarily located in Co Galway. They include two public sector buildings, seven community buildings, two sports & leisure facilities, four private sector businesses and eight private homeowners on the Aran Islands. One of the private sector projects is located in Tralee, Co Kerry and another in Knock, Co Mayo. Of the 20 partners, 15 are non-residential not-for-profit organisations and the private sector partners are donating the value of their energy credits to the community sector projects. The retrofit measures are primarily insulation, window and door replacements but also include lighting upgrades, boiler replacements, cooling upgrades, controls and one renewable measure. Galway Co Council are using an internal ESCO (Energy Service Company) to fund the two local authority projects which represent 17% of the overall project.

Largest PV Installation

Largest PV Installation in the Republic of Ireland O'Sheas_BEC

Exciting news this week in County Kilkenny, the Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency (CKEA), O’Shea Farms in Piltown and Solar Electric are working on installing the largest Solar PV installation in the Republic of Ireland. O’Shea Farms have a year round electricity demand from refrigerated cold storage. They supply fresh produce to supermarkets across the country all year around. They plan to meet this base load demand with the installation of 250kWp, covering 1,569m² of roof area on and meeting 11% of the total site electricity demand. This project will set O’Shea Farms as the leaders in solar power generation in the Ireland. Jane Wickham, Paddy Phelan and Nigel Kwenda of the Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency are working closely with O’Shea Farms on the project management of this installation. The Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency was successful in applying for 20% grant for the capital cost of the project through the Better Energy Communities from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

The project received a lot of interest from multinational companies when Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency put it out to tender in early August. The contract was awarded to Solar Electric Ireland Limited from Co. Wexford. O’Shea Farms are currently in the construction phase of the project. Solar Electric Ireland have already delivered an order of 160kW worth of solar panels onsite and construction is to start this Thursday 1st October. The installation and commissioning of the project is expected to be completed by the end of October 2015.

The main advantages of onsite solar power generation at O’Shea Farms are as follows;

  • Solar energy coincides with energy needs for cooling during the summer months. Therefore, a Solar PV System can provide an effective solution to supply energy during peak demands especially in hot summer months where energy demand is high.
  • Solar power generation is carbon neutral hence; it will firmly ground O’Shea Farms’ sustainable practice credentials.
  • Solar power generation does not require a primary energy source attributed with conventional power generation methods. Therefore, it reduces O’Shea Farms’ exposure to fluctuating energy prices.
  • Solar power generation requires little to no operational and maintenance costs compared to other renewable energy technologies.
  • On completion the 250kWp installation will be Ireland’s largest single Solar PV installation setting O’Shea farms as leaders in solar power generation in Ireland.

 

EPC Street Lighting Event – Santander, Spain

Streetligh EPC logo CKEA website Santander, Spain hosted the recent Street Lighting EPC event. “STREETLIGHT-EPC” is setting up Regional EPC Facilitation Services (helpdesks) in 9 European regions for municipalities and SMEs as potential ESCOs. The partner regions are implementing energy efficient street lighting refurbishment projects using Energy Performance Contracting (EPC). This will help create knowledge and trust in both EPC and LED technology” (FEDARENE).

Old street lighting systems can account for 30-50% of municipalities’ total electricity consumption. Yet, current technologies offer 30-70% potential energy savings. These potential savings have been recognised and incorporated into European policies: EU Regulation 245/2009 sets phasing out requirements for nearly 80% of all currently used lamp types between 2012 and 2017. This means that these lamp types will no longer be available on the market for purchase.

Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) offers municipalities an innovative, but still under-used, solution to finance a transition to energy efficient street lighting with energy savings guarantees. Street lighting is a good “learning and testing ground” for EPC due to its lower technical and economic complexity compared to building-related EPC. Furthermore, the recent market introduction of LED technology offers high energy and cost savings with comparatively short pay-back times.

EPC Street Lighting – Successes

Palencia/Spain – a pioneer project

  • Population: 81,000
  • Urban area with 11,000 lighting points.
  • Before renovation, mostly high-pressure sodium lamps and high pressure mercury lamps were used, frequently with low efficiency and insufficient colour rendition.
  • In the context of a streetlight-EPC project, as a first step, 3,139 luminaires were changed to LED.
  • An individual luminaire dimming control system was installed.
  • Contract duration: 12 years
  • Guaranteed energy savings: 75 %
  • Total savings: 2,000,000 Euro

Wels/Austria – comprehensive LED project

  • Population: 61,000 total street lighting system: 7,700 lights and 9,100 lamps
  • Prior to the retrofitting project, mercury vapour discharge lamps (HQL), sodium lamps, plug-in solutions and fluorescent lamps were in use, of which 4,500 were older than 15 years.
  • Between 2011 and 2014, 50 % of the lighting system was converted to LED technology.
  • A third of the street lighting is dimmed to 50 % between 21:30 and 5:30, resulting in increased saving without compromising road safety.
  • Investment by the ESCO: 1,656,000 Euro
  • Contract duration: 7 years
  • Achieved annual savings: 36 % (guaranteed)

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