College wins top prize for switch to green energy
An agricultural college which self-generates electricity and heating using an on-site wind turbine, solar panels and a biomass boiler has won the top prize at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) awards.
Gurteen College in Tipperary grows 80pc of the willow needed to fuel its biomass boiler on site, has almost 170 solar panels installed and sustainability is built-into its educational courses.
It received the Energy Manager of the Year award at a Mansion House reception last night, joining EirGrid, the Aran Islands Community Energy Co-operative and other business, community and public sector organisations honoured for their efforts in reducing energy consumption.
Climate Change and Environment Minister Richard Bruton said the awards highlighted the expertise available to drive down emissions.
The 86 entrants spend €350m a year on energy, and have achieved 23pc savings which are worth €38m. Other winners included the Discovery Centre in Ballymun, and the Aran Islands Community Energy Co-operative where more than half the buildings undertake energy upgrades.
SEAI CEO Jim Gannon added: "As the realities of climate change become clearer to, it is particularly important to highlight what work is being done by energy leaders.
"The commitment and dedication of the finalists is a huge inspiration to us all."