Happy Earth Day from 3CEA

Sometimes we forget we’re floating through space on a giant rock. Let’s not forget that this rock is the only place we have to call home. This Earth Day, let’s honour our amazing little planet. The official theme of Earth Day 2022 is “Invest in our planet”, so why not get out there and make a change that will invest in the future health of our environment.

Although energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions are our every day at 3CEA, our team are taking the time today to do something different that will help make our planet that little bit healthier.

What are you doing to celebrate earth day?

Here are some ideas
🚮Litter pick around your local area, recycling what you collect
🌼Plant some pollinator-friendly plants, vegetables or a tree
🚴No car day: ditch the car and walk, cycle or use public transport
🥬Go vegan or vegetarian for the day
⛰️Go outside into nature and appreciate it

Irish Energy Storage SME Daretech, Awarded STEPS Voucher 2

After a number of Irish SMEs entered the STEPS Voucher 1 scheme from the second call, two are now ready to progress to the Voucher 2 scheme. The first of these is the Energy Storage SME Daretech. Based in Cork, Daretech are now ready to start testing under ‘real-life’-conditions, as they prepare to install their battery solution into the Kilkenny based O’Shea Farms.

The STEPS Business Support Programme is an Interreg NWE funded project that brings together business support and knowledge partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The STEPS project aims to improve the competitiveness of northwest European battery storage SMEs. The first voucher support partners these SMEs with knowledge partners (NUIG in Ireland) to help them develop their solutions and fill any knowledge gaps they may have. The second voucher will allow a smaller number of SMEs install and test their battery solutions in real-life conditions. This allows the SME to gather data on their battery’s performance. The overall goal of these vouchers is to improve the Technological Readiness Level (TRL) of their product.

The Energy Storage SME Daretech develops smart hybrid power solutions for marine applications. They’re based at The Entrepreneurship in Cork. The Entrepreneurship is a specialised marine technology start up space within Marei, which itself is a Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine Innovation. The Centre comprises over 200 researchers focusing on defined global challenges such as Climate Action and the Blue Economy. Through the integration of locally generated renewable energy and advanced storage technology significant efficiency increases and cost reduction is accomplished while simultaneously reducing emissions in the marine environment. Daretech designs, builds and operates these smart hybrid power systems for marine applications.

Hybrid power systems can be used as a sustainable alternative to a diesel generator in any application. The system is a scalable, modular hybrid energy system that Daretech are developing for applications that do not have access to shore power or face extensive grid charges due to peak power demands. It comprises a smart battery system with a diesel generator, and optional integration of renewable energy source (solar, and/or wind). All of these elements are based on proven technology, adapted to the specific requirements of the marine environment. The system can incorporate any form of renewable energy generation that might be available at a particular user’s site. An automated control system which allows seamless operation of the hybrid system with a redundant diesel generator for backup that introduces efficiency and storage technology to the marine environment.  The operating principles of our hybrid power systems are:

  • The electrical load is usually a fraction of generator capacity.
  • Excess generator capacity is used to charge the battery system.
  • Electricity for appliances is provided from the battery system.
  • The system is fully automated between generator and battery controls.

The implementation of this technology allows the operator to both reduce their base-load power related emissions while reducing fuel consumption and either avoiding or greatly extending periods between servicing for diesel generators. The system has been specifically designed to be operated in harsh environments and provides a robust and user-friendly solution for these markets.

Daretech Battery Solution

Daretech applied to the STEPS programme “in order to leverage the expertise that was available from the Project Partners”. They had been undertaking a lot of research and development in-house, and were keen to obtain a third-party independent verification of the analysis they were performing on their benefits of operational hybrid power systems at customer sites. In voucher 1, Daretech worked with energy modelling specialists from NUI Galway taking their operational data and performing independent analysis to determine the system benefits in terms of fuel saving, emission offset, and overall return on investment. The outcome of this stage validated the quantified benefits that Daretech have provided to their customers, and the method by which we determine them.

We aim to find new markets and applications for our hybrid power systems. Our long-term goal is to bring more hybrid systems into operation to reduce costs and emissions on customer sites.

Darren Hayes, Co-Founder of Daretech

Daretech will test their battery at O’Shea Farms. O’Shea Farms is a farm based in Pilltown, Kilkenny that provides fresh vegetable produce to supermarkets across the country. This results in year-round electricity demand for refrigerated cold storage and grading equipment at their site. They currently have 250 KWp (Kilo-Watt potential) solar PVs installed on the farm that provides about 200,000 KWh a year. They are looking to add 414 KWp to two more buildings. O’Shea Farms is hoping that an energy storage solution will allow them to store excess intake during the day, which can be stored as cold storage and used to power the refrigerators for the vegetables overnight. This will give them a better return on their investment than they would get returning the energy generated to the grid.

O’Shea Farms in Pilltown, Co.Kilkenny

Daretech are set to install their battery into O’Shea Farms in late summer 2022. They will then test the battery for 6 months, while receiving support from 3cea. When asked about their experiences in the STEPS project so far, Daretech co-founder Darren Hayes said:

“The STEPS programme is an excellent support for small businesses – it’s given great access to expertise and testbeds in order to grow our understanding of the technology and demonstrate how it can meet customer needs.”

Although we will not have any more calls for SMEs to join the STEPS Business Support Programme, you can still benefit from it. If you’re an energy storage SME, check out the STEPS State of the Art report and keep an eye out for the announcement of upcoming webinars discussing some of the findings from the project. To learn more about STEPS, check out our dedicated STEPS webpage here.

jobsinkilkenny_waterford

We’re Hiring! Job vacancies in Kilkenny and Waterford

Join our growing team and help promote behaviour change to accelerate energy transition by bringing your unique energy to the team.
Current vacancies:
  • Sustainable Energy Engineer – full time position
  • Junior Energy Engineer – full time position
  • Office Administrator – part time position

Deadline for applications is Friday April 29th 2022

To apply, visit our careers page here –  download, fill and complete the 3CEA application form available and email the application form to Bill Lowe at blowe@3cea.ie

Kilkenny and Waterford Cities are the home of culture, innovation and heritage, it’s a charming place to work that attracts top talent and offers high quality of life. 3 Counties Energy Agency is committed to delivering sustainable energy solutions for everyone in the region. Join our vibrant team and help promote behaviour change to accelerate ‘energy transition’ for the South East by bringing your unique energy to the team.
3CEA is an equal opportunities employer.

3cea Pilot State of the Art Energy Efficient Homes in Carlow & Kilkenny

Construction has begun 8 new energy efficient homes in Carlow & Kilkenny that are part of a NWE Interreg Housing 4.0 Energy (H4.0E) an EU project to lower embodied emissions in house builds and in time reduce the cost of construction by utilising a Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) model and ensuring the houses are built to nZEB (near Zero Energy Building) standard by using prefabricated timber-frame closed panels or low-carbon GGBS cement composites and energy-saving efforts like installation of Photovoltaic cables and heat pumps. The 2 bedroom and single bedroom houses are located in St Mary’s court in Carlow town, in Mullinivat and Graiguenamanagh (at the old Fire Station)  in Co. Kilkenny.

Construction site for H4.0E houses in St Mary’s court, Carlow town.

Construction site for H4.0E houses in St Mary’s court, Carlow town.

“3cea were delighted to lead this initiative and to secure Irish funding of over 600K from a Europe-wide fund of 4.2 million made available by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interred NorthWest Europe scheme to make this pilot project happen,” said Communications Officer Colin Healy. “H4.0E-nZEBs or ZEB builds are a must for future construction to meet both Ireland’s housing needs and carbon mitigation goals. The Irish H4.0E pilots are not using full DfMA methods in the pilot project, but when they come fully on stream through the availability of the H4.0E Platform being developed by Open Systems Lab (OSL) as part of the H4.0E project we anticipate that building costs will be reduced by 25% using these methods. The H4.0E houses in the upscaling process will be far cheaper to run and substantial carbon emission reductions will be achieved both in embodied and operational carbon. Heating and domestic hot water are where most of the energy will be used and these are warmer better-insulated homes. All houses are fitted with heat pumps.

 

The houses, referred to as H4.0E houses are part of a plan to develop affordable zero-energy houses by applying new technology to building and running the houses. A carbon reduction of at least 50% to 80%, when compared to a standard concrete/brick build house,  will be achieved. All units will be completed towards the end of this year and will be used for social housing by Carlow and Kilkenny County Councils.

You can learn more about H4.0E and 3cea’s activities in the project through our H4.0E Webpage.

Information Session on Community Energy Grant Funding

 

This online session offers a unique opportunity for organisations to learn how to cut harmful emissions and make significant energy and bottom-line savings. It aims to support small businesses in the South East as we discuss funding opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. What makes a good grant application?  Who is eligible for funding? What measures are supported? Our experienced senior energy expert Alex Hamilton will provide helpful tips and what you need to do to be successful. 

This event is the first step for interested organisations and businesses to understand what it takes to apply for energy grant funding for your project and what supports are available to achieve such a project.

Register on Eventbrite

 

Online Event schedule:

1st Session: Wed, 23rd of February 2022 from 1-2pm

Repeat Session: Wed, 2nd of March 2022 from 3-4pm

Agenda

  • Communities Energy Grant Overview
  • Funding amounts
  • Energy Audits / Technical Reports
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Estimated Timelines
  • Documentation required
  • Project examples
  • Q&A

Target groups:

Businesses, SMEs, Farmers, Tidy Towns Groups, Co-operatives, Community Groups, Schools, Sports Clubs, Public Sector, Housing Associations and other groups are urged to attend the free information webinar as it is expected that the SEAI grant scheme will receive a high level of interest.

Grants are available through SEAI, who provide up to 50% funding for community projects, not for profits, charities, housing associations. And up to 30% funding for businesses, public sector, SMEs, industrial & commercial sector.

What’s involved?

Both online sessions are open to everyone with an interest in sustainability and community energy but will be of particular relevance to organisations and community groups looking to progress their identified energy projects.

3cea are accepting new grant applications for 2022 and we are urging people to get in touch with us now. In the south east region the SEAI grants & services are administered by the 3 Counties Energy Agency www.3cea.ie.

Register in advance for this event via this Eventbrite page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Meet the Team: Michael Deen

 

  1. What is your educational and work background?
    I have a BSc in Geography and Environmental Science and have recently completed an MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development at Queens University Belfast. I have previously worked within commercial sustainability and worked with several not-for-profit environmental and sustainability organisations.
  2. What’s the most exciting thing about joining 3cea?
    I’m excited to be part of an organization like 3cea that delivers real positive change to society. The opportunity to work on projects in a variety of sectors from commercial businesses to community groups with sustainability at the core of it all is really exciting.
  3. Why is sustainable energy so important to you?
    We are living within a climate crisis, and sustainable energy will play a crucial role in reducing the negative local and global impacts a changing climate will bring.
  4. What advice would you give to readers who are considering an energy efficiency project in your sector?
    This is your opportunity to take the leap into sustainable energy, whether you are driven by climate action or reducing your energy costs, there has never been a better time to start an energy efficiency project.

Meet the Team: Tracey Turner

 

  1. What is your educational and work background?
    I worked as a logistics administrator for a wholesale company after leaving school. A FAS course in Supply Chain Management and Logistics led me to a primary degree in Industrial Engineering (Level 7). A module in Energy Engineering sparked my interest in renewable technologies, so much so, that I attended an evening course while completing my degree, in Energy Technologies and Installations (Heat-Pumps). I was very fortunate to secure my industrial placement with an innovative company who were at the time designing, manufacturing, transporting, and installing wind turbines. C&F Green Energy gave me a solid foundation in engineering, industry, and renewable technology. My interest grew in the areas of green energy, sustainability, and the environment prompting my return to education. I went on to achieve an Honours Degree Level 8 B.Eng. in Industrial Engineering and a Masters Diploma Level 9 in Green Engineering. I also took some time to travel which was a valuable education in itself. Since, I have worked with a wind and solar developer, evaluating renewable projects, and liaising with clients and stakeholders. I also worked for a short time as a quality engineer in the electro/mechanical industry, this gave me an understanding of construction in particular BCAR (Building Control Amendment Regulation) documentation for projects requiring certification. Most recently I have worked as an Energy Engineer/Consultant,  developing Energy Master Plans for Sustainable Energy Communities, conducting energy audits, quantifying energy consumption to establish baselines as well as being appointed by the SEAI as a county mentor to consult with and advise sustainable energy communities in the midland region.
  1. What’s the most exciting thing about joining 3cea?
    I have followed 3CEA for some time, often signing up to their webinars and workshops. I admire 3CEAs professionalism,  dedication and expertise. I am very much looking forward to learning from my peers and being part of an organised and focused team. Also, they seem like a lovely bunch, relaxed, down to earth and friendly.
  1. Why is sustainable energy so important to you?
    I have always been passionate about nature, the environment, and the people and communities around me. I come from a spectacularly beautiful part of the world. Relatively untouched by pollution, industrialisation, mining, poverty, overpopulation etc. I didn’t quite grasp the magnitude of how much we were interfering with nature and our environments until I travelled, until I witnessed environmental devastation and extreme weather events for myself. We don’t feel the effects as much here in Ireland; however, it will affect us all, sooner than we think. I want to leave a world that my daughter can not only survive in but thrive in. Humans over the last 200yrs have consumed more than ever before, stripping the earth of its resources without much consideration or gratitude. Globally, the use of energy represents by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. What better place to put all my energy into if not energy itself?
  1. What advice would you give to readers who are considering an energy efficiency project in your sector?
    The time for consideration is past. It is better to be proactive than reactive. Reach out, information, people and resources are available. Get in contact with 3CEA or your local energy agency. They will be happy to help and guide you.

Meet the Team: Stephen McCormick

 

  1. What is your educational and work background?
    I have a BA in Arts from TCD, an MA in International Relations from DCU and a BEng in Mechanical Engineering and Renewable Energies from AIT. I’ve spent a decade in retail and a decade in Facility Management and am now branching into energy management.
  2. What’s the most exciting thing about joining 3cea?
    I’m eager to join a team of like-minded individuals who are keen on supporting Irelands energy commitments. 3cea has a great record of working with energy users of all stripes for 2 decades and I’m honored in becoming part of the team and look forward to driving further sustainability across Irelands South East.
  3. Why is sustainable energy so important to you?
    The world is in a pretty precarious position and faces threats on a number of fronts. Immediate climate action has never been so important and, with three young girls looking up to their father, I am particularly keen on showing them that my generation has been part of the solution and not the problem.
  4. What advice would you give to readers who are considering an energy efficiency project in your sector?
    Just do it – there’s never been such a critical time to make a positive change in how you live and work. We at 3cea have a dedicated team of experienced engineers and support staff to help you make a positive impact on your carbon emissions as well as your bank balance. Be the change you want to see.

 

SEAI Solar PV for Business Guide

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) have published their latest guide on Solar PV to help your business understand solar PV technology and to support you to deliver a solar PV project. It explores the key areas of site suitability, as well as the technological and practical issues involved in a typical solar PV project.
This guide is a fantastic starting point for any business interested in adopting Solar as part of their energy supply.

Solar PV will play a pivotal role in the nation’s Climate Action commitments to reduce greenhouse emissions by 51% by 2030 and achieve a climate-neutral economy by 2050.

The southeast receives more light energy from the sun than any other region, which means businesses in the southeast have the potential to generate more solar energy than other regions of the country.

ENERGee Watch Course 4: Data display, dissemination, and validation by local authorities

ENERGee Watch Course 4 will cover how to identify the key factors that determine how to disseminate data (regulations, targets, usage, etc.). It will also cover how to identify key recipients and stakeholders, teaching mentees how to identify their needs and expectations, collect the data, and get it into the required format. Some methods and tools to represent and illustrate data patterns and messages in data (graphs, Sankey diagrams, maps, etc.) will also be covered in this course. Finally, how to efficiently disseminate this data and the subsequent messages (technical reports, newsletters, online tools, etc.) will be covered too.

The Target for Course 4: Data Display, Dissemination, and Validation by Local Authorities

This course aims to identify how to best communicate a dataset or to portray certain messages in the data. Throughout the course, we will treat the key topics necessary to ensure effective and complete communication of data and information. Some current challenges that this course could rectify include; a lack of interaction with recipients of datasets, the misunderstanding of datasets, difficulty in portraying messages that are in the data, a requirement for datasets to be communicated in a particular way, a need to find more innovative/representative data visualisation methods, or simply an interest to develop links with existing innovative tools.

Course Objectives

The objectives set for mentee learning before the course were as follows.

To know your audience and their ultimate needs
• To assess the best data display method for the objective,
• audience and desired response
• To manipulate data to suit different representation styles
• To understand the different data dissemination and display options available

Topics

ENERGee Watch Course 4 sought to achieve these objectives over 6 sessions held over 6 days across just over a month from October to November.

• Session 1: What determines effective Communication of data?
• Session 2: Identifying the information needs of end-users
• Session 3: Manipulating and Presenting data
• Session 4: Implementing data display tools
• Session 5: TerriSTORY®, a deeper insight
• Session 6: Data dissemination

Mentors

Thomas Knight is a project manager in the Territorial Intelligence and Observatory team at Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Energie Environnement(AURA-EE) since the beginning of 2020. Thomas is responsible for the quality and accuracy of the energy-related and economic calculations for the regional energy and climate data observatory (ORCAE) and is an active participant in the development of an online data tracking tool for the territories of the region; TerriSTORY®.

 

 

If you are interested in taking part in the next cycle of ENERGee Watch courses, the applications for the second cycle should open in January. Please note that currently these courses are only open to Local Authorities and Municipalities. You can find out when the ENERGee Watch applications open by keeping an eye on our social media and signing up to our newsletter.