Over 15 stakeholders from the North West of Ireland have participated in four study visits organised by project partner Derry City and Strabane District Council (Northern Ireland, UK). SECURE partners from ERNACT and Donegal County Council (Ireland) have also attended the trip to learn more about good local energy practices.
The first visit was to the Foyle Arena, a new leisure and events centre located in Derry. The focus of the visit was the CHP (Combined Heat & Power) Plant which generates electricity for the building and uses the excess heat to heat the swimming pool water. Leo Strawbridge Energy Manager and Joe Hendron Energy Co-ordinator at Derry City and Strabane District Council have explained that natural gas powered CHP unit generates 125kw of electricity for the building and 196kw of heat which reduces the buildings consumption from the electricity grid by approximately 40%, but increases the natural gas consumption by 22%. There is a financial benefit to the building as buying natural gas to generate electricity is significantly cheaper than it is to purchase from the local electricity supplier. Whilst carbon emissions from natural gas are 280% lower than the emissions from grid electricity making in a more environmentally way of generating electricity.
The second visit was to a local Biomass supplier located on the outskirts of the city. Original Heating Ltd grow, harvest, process and distribute a biomass product in the form of wood chip primarily from short rotation coppice willow. The company also provides heating solutions in the form of direct purchase or individual heat contracts using the KWB Austrian manufactured boiler range. Eddie Meenan, Managing-Director of Original Heating explained that, the owners of large properties and rural estates can benefit greatly from reduced energy costs and a reduced carbon footprint as a result of installing wood-fuel heating systems, particularly when converting from oil. Original Heating also designs and constructs inside and outside storage facilities for fuel supply, they service and maintain the boiler and they can incorporate remote monitoring as well.
The third visit was to HollyBush primary school, which is heated by a Bio Mass Boiler, supplied and installed by Original Heating Ltd. The school uses locally sourced wood pellets and regularly monitors the energy performance. This boiler heats the school 100%: the main building, nursery, library and canteen. “We found it very economical for the school”, says Principal Mrs Carmel Dunn. Furthermore, they have engaged with staff and pupils to implement simple energy saving measures by making gradual changes, like installing low-energy lighting, switching off lights when not needed and steadily lowering thermostats in classrooms. In this way, in two years’ time, they have moved from Band E to B on the Display Energy Certificate energy performance rating scheme. According to the principal, school saves now a minimum of £2,000 per year. “We have a happier staff, comfortable children and an environmentally friendly building”.
The last visit of the day was to the recently opened Culmore Country Park, a former landfill site that capped and developed into a public recreation space for the area to see operation of Landfill Gas Power plant under management by B9 Energy Company. The power plant generates 500Kw of electricity which is partly consumed by Council facilities within the Country Park with remainder sold to a local water treatment plant through a private wire arrangement. B9 have considerable experience in the construction and operation of landfill gas power plants with a number of facilities in operation throughout Ireland.
Find out more
- Please contact Leo Strawbridge for more details about Foyle Arena’s CHP plant.
- Learn more about biomass heating solutions through Original Heating Ltd.
- Watch the video produced by students in HollyBush primary school to learn more about how have they improved its energy performance
- Are you interested in learning more about landfill gas? Don’t hesitate to check what B9 Energy Company is achieving and watch what they do at Granville Eco Park.