independent

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Unique energy project for Rathnure

Aonghus McNobola (Trinity College), Dympna Skelton (Blackwater GWS) and Paul Coughlan (Trinity College) at the launch of the new Energy Recovery Scheme in Rathnure Community Centre
Aonghus McNobola (Trinity College), Dympna Skelton (Blackwater GWS) and Paul Coughlan (Trinity College) at the launch of the new Energy Recovery Scheme in Rathnure Community Centre

Brendan Keane

Rathnure village is to be given €6,400 as a result of savings made through a first-of-its-kind in the UK or Ireland, pilot energy project that began in the area late last year.

The project was officially launched recently in Rathnure Community Centre.

The scheme is a unique energy regeneration project trialled at the EPS operated Blackstairs Group Water Scheme (BGWS) which, it's estimated, will generate 49,000kWh per year resulting in a saving of €6,900.

A spokesperson for EPS said that saving is being donated to the local community to highlight the benefits of energy optimisation.

Energy optimisation is very topical at the moment and according to the EPS spokesperson that's something that is particularly relevant to the BGWS.

EPS collaborated with Trinity College, Dublin, and Bangor University, on the Dwr Uisce project - a hydropower energy recovery scheme - where a pump was installed into the usual GWS treatment process.

Commenting on the scheme the EPS energy manager and lead figure on the project, Benny McDonagh, said: 'This project is the first of its kind to be commissioned in Ireland and the UK. As part of our ongoing efforts to use our expertise and resources to reduce our electrical load and carbon footprint we introduced a pump to act as a turbine (PAT), recovering energy that otherwise would have been wasted.'

Mr McDonagh said it's hoped the project will be expanded and rolled out across the entire country.

'We have already identified suitable sites and look forward to delivering similar results and further reduce carbon emissions,' he said.

He added that his company has been operating group water schemes to treat and provide safe drinking water to thousands of people across Ireland since 1999 while the group scheme in Blackstairs has been running since 2006.

Barry O'Toole, Operations and Maintenance Director at EPS, said the company is committed to local communities: 'We are committed to the local communities where we live and work and it is wonderful to be able to give even more back to those who support us.'

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