Entrants to this year’s Sustainable Energy Awards have surpassed expectations demonstrating savings of €100 million through innovative sustainable energy projects.
Presented by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and sponsored by Enprova, the Awards recognise and reward excellence in energy management in businesses, communities and public sector organisations. J&J Campus Ireland, (a collaborative group comprising DePuy Synthes, Vison Care, Janssen Biologics and Janssen Pharmaceuticals), claimed this year’s overall Leadership Award for its far reaching efforts towards their ambitious goal of 20% CO2 reduction by 2020.
J&J Campus Ireland leverage the combined strength of these companies by promoting best practice and sharing knowledge. J&J Campus Ireland have financed capital intensive energy saving projects via a global CO2 reduction fund. They now have onsite generation including wind turbine technology, woodchip boiler systems, CHP systems, a tri-generation system (CCP), a geothermal cooling loop, and an industrial heat pump system. J&J Campus Ireland have demonstrated how renewable energy projects can be more easily implemented and at lower cost when organisations collaborate.
Entries to the nine SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards categories, included a wide range of innovations and technology solutions spread across sectors including retail, hospitality, construction and pharma all of which have shown excellent reductions in CO2 emissions and energy costs.
Congratulating the winners of this year’s awards Mr Denis Naughten TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment said: “Ireland has made significant progress in decarbonising our society in the last decade. As economic activity ramps up again, energy saving projects, like those demonstrated by entrants to the SEAI Energy Awards, are critical to keeping Ireland on the right path of reducing carbon emissions. The innovative approach taken by Irish companies to secure savings and reduce their energy use highlights the talent and knowledge that we have here at home. Their potential to inspire others to make similar efficiencies and monetary gains will help Ireland not only create jobs but will put us on the map as leaders in energy management while also benefitting the environment in the process.”
DaysE won the GlenDimplex sponsored Innovation award for its ‘Donate As You Save’ fund raising model which uses energy savings as a means of financing energy projects in non-profit organisations. Dell EMC took home the Kingspan ESB sponsored Large Business Award for its ongoing commitment to reducing energy usage through a structured energy reduction programme saving them €4.5 million per annum in electricity costs alone.
Speaking on the night, Jim Gannon CEO, SEAI said: “€100 million is the highest figure for collective savings made by companies since the Awards began 13 years ago. As CEO of SEAI, I am immensely proud of the successes achieved by the finalists in bringing innovative solutions to energy management. The organisations here are not only leaders domestically but globally and I commend all those who took part in the Awards on their energy achievements and encourage them to keep the momentum going and inspire others to take action.”
Winner: DaysE – DaysE created a Donate As You Save innovative fund-raising model which uses energy savings as a means of fund raising for energy projects in non-profit organisation. It facilitates the transfer of energy savings and/or energy credits from donors to charities. The donations are then used by the charity to implement energy upgrades to reduce their energy bills and running costs. In one example, Irish Country Meats invested €300,000 in energy upgrades at their plant and agreed to donate €10,000 of the energy savings to DaysE and pledged the associated energy credits which were worth €25,000 to beneficiaries as well.
Winner: Cosgrave Developments – Cosgrave Developments, development of super energy efficient homes which include a District Heating System, Pay-As-You-Go billing and Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) systems with a special device to incorporate a load management module to allow homeowners maximize electricity output on site thus reducing energy bills, energy usage and minimising dispatch to the grid. Homeowners can use a remote control option on their smart phones to control their heating from anywhere in the world. An ESCO will operate the District Heating and work with homeowners to maximise efficiencies.
Winner: NVP Energy – NVP Energy for research on the development of a Low Temperature Anaerobic Digestion (Lt-AD) technology for treating low strength wastewater in a sustainable way. The process treats the wastewater to a high standard, recovers biogas and produces negligible sludge. The process is less energy intensive and produces less carbon emissions than the aerobic technologies typically used to treat this type of wastewater. Wastewater discharge costs are reduced and the biogas can be used as an energy source. A full-scale pilot plant is in operation with a second research project due to commence in 2017.
Winner: Camphill Communities of Ireland – Camphill Communities of Ireland for their Better Energy Communities project, which involved energy upgrades to 78 buildings including commercial, residential and community buildings. The measures included biogas electricity generation system, biomass boilers installations, solar panels and a wind turbine. The annual energy savings are estimated at €300,000 which is equivalent to a 20% reduction in energy use. The project was very ambitious both in terms of the scale and the level of innovative measures included. The project also included piloting of an energy charity model, using the Donate As You Save Energy (DaysE) software, which allows commercial organisations to make donations, which fund energy upgrades to be implemented by the charities involved.
Winner: Hybrid Energy Solutions – Hybrid Energy Solutions for the design of a suite of highly energy efficient, reliable off-grid power generation systems. They are modular, self-contained systems that combine wind, solar, lithium ion batteries, diesel or biogas generators and have advanced, cloud based, remote access controls. They can be operated on 100% renewable energy. They offer 24/7 power in locations where the grid cannot be relied upon or is non-existent. They typically reduce fuel consumption by 70% and can deliver up to 95% cost savings. The user feedback has been very positive and the company has experienced a strong growth in sales internationally and has recently secured a €45 million contract in Africa.
Winner: Dell EMC – Dell EMC for their ongoing commitment to reducing energy usage through a structured energy reduction programme. The company has achieved a 36% electrical energy reduction and a 35% natural gas reduction over an 8 year period. Their spend on electricity has reduced by €4.6M/annum. Measures include certification to ISO 50001, free and fresh air-cooling project, LED lighting, boiler controls, sensors and controls. As a result of the range of energy efficiency measures implemented, the company’s emissions now fall below the criteria for the EU Emission Trading Scheme and they officially exited the scheme in 2015. They have a five year Energy Action Plan and recently undertook a Maturity Assessment to identify further opportunities to maximise the potential for energy savings at the plant.
Winner: Cork County Council – Cork County Council for being the first Local Authority in Ireland to develop and implement an Energy Management System that is fully certified to ISO 50001. The key challenge was to develop a system that could deal with the diversity of services provided by a County Council. It required the development of performance indicators for a diverse array of services ranging from road maintenance and street lighting to running leisure centres and libraries. Cork County Council has provided a roadmap and template, which will allow other local authorities to follow in their footsteps.
Winner: Killary Adventure Company – Killary Adventure Company for their continued and enthusiastic commitment contributing to Ireland’s transformation to a sustainable society. The company continues to invest in sustainable energy and is committed not only to operating sustainably but also passing on that message to their visitors and the next generation. The company has invested €100,000 in energy upgrades including a 15kW wind turbine, a 200kW biomass boiler, flow restrictors on showers, a drying system that uses excess heat from boiler to dry clothes, LED lights, separating waste, composting, electric golf buggy and delivering sustainable education. The timber for the log burner is sourced locally and the company has a long-term goal of being a carbon neutral adventure company.
Winner: J&J Campus Ireland – J&J Campus Ireland for maximising collaboration between four Johnson & Johnson affiliated Irish-based companies to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 and deliver onsite renewable energy generation.
Further information on the 2016 Sustainable Energy Awards and the winners can be found on SEAI’s website www.seai.ie/energyawards