€48 million in energy savings delivered by companies at the 2015 Sustainable Energy Awards

EPS Group scoops Leadership prize after helping voluntary groups secure €2million for energy projects

Media Release
19th November 2015

Entrants to this year's Sustainable Energy Awards have saved an unprecedented €48 million in the last year through their extraordinary sustainable energy projects. Irish-owned water treatment specialist EPS Group took the Leadership Award having co-ordinated several community outreach projects around the country. Its efforts saw 81 community and voluntary groups including addiction centres, sheltered housing, sports clubs and schools benefit from almost €2million in funding for energy saving projects.

Presented by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and sponsored by Electric Ireland and Enprova, the Awards recognise excellence in energy in businesses, communities and public sector organisations. Innovation is at the heart of the competition, with this year's entries including a wide range of new and exciting solutions across a broad spectrum of sectors including agriculture, marine, hospitality and pharma all of which have reduced their CO2 emissions and energy costs.

OpenHydro won the GlenDimplex sponsored Innovation Award for its development of an open centre tidal turbine with such a clever design that the 40 meter device can be fully deployed at sea in less than six hours. Other innovative entries this year included: a smart beer cooling system that can be retrofitted to bars and restaurants using smart electricity meters to run when electricity is cheapest; a new exemplar 'Living Building' which will be completely energy independent; and a pioneering anaerobic digestion plant, which allows farmers to use agricultural waste to generate a 100% renewable heat and electricity supply.

The Awards were presented by Mr. Alex White TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources who congratulated the winners. Minister White said: "The sustainable energy activities we are recognising through these awards are making an important contribution to our economic recovery. While energy demand will increase to supply Ireland's growing economic activity, the industry has worked hard to break the rigid 'one-to-one' link between increased economic output and increased energy demand. Our energy is now delivered and utilised much more efficiently and intelligently than in the past. The Sustainable Energy Awards winners and finalists demonstrate the benefits to our society of making our homes and businesses more comfortable and cheaper to run, while also benefitting the environment."

Speaking on the night, Brian Motherway CEO, SEAI said: "This is the biggest and best year yet for the SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards. Now, more than ever, we are seeing really innovative solutions to saving energy, and also greater collaboration between organisations who are working together to deliver results. I commend all who took part on their achievements in reducing energy use, protecting local jobs and reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels."

A new Design Award was especially introduced to mark Irish Year of Design and GKinetic Energy, a family business from Limerick, won this Award for its turbine designed to harness energy from rivers and oceans in a new and efficient way. The Community Award was won by Clonakilty Community Cycle scheme for its new bicycle scheme for locals and tourists with 500 members on board since its launch earlier this year.

Further information on the 2015 Sustainable Energy Awards and the winners can be found on SEAI's website www.seai.ie/energyawards

Notes to Editor:

About SEAI
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has a mission to play a leading role in the transformation of Ireland to a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices. SEAI is partly financed by Ireland's EU Structural Funds Programme co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.

For further information:
Luke McDonnell/ Morwenna Rice
Drury|Porter Novelli
01 260 5000 / 085 712 7243 (LMD) / 086 1940069 (MR)





About the Sustainable Energy Awards

This is the 12th year of the Sustainable Energy Awards which had nine categories in total:

Sustainable Energy Award Winners 2015

1. Innovation - Winner: OpenHydro, Louth

OpenHydro designs, manufactures and installs marine turbines to generate renewable energy from tidal streams. OpenHydro is now preparing to enter the industrial supply phase of its development where it will deploy arrays of turbines on the seabed to generate energy silently, invisibly and with no impact on the environment. The innovative features of their design include the open-centre turbine technology, a low maintenance design with only one moving part and development of a safe and economical method for deploying and recovering the turbines, allowing them to be fully deployed in less than 6 hours. OpenHydro were the first company to deliver tidal energy to the UK National Grid and they will be deploying a 7 turbine array in 2018. This will be a world first and will act as a showcase to demonstrate the potential of tidal energy.

2. Collaboration - Winner: Údarás na Gaeltachta, Mayo

Údarás na Gaeltachta began its energy transition to a sustainable future in 2008 when it established an 'Energy Management Bureau' as a pilot project with the objectives of reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions in 15 of is buildings. In early 2013, in collaboration with SEAI and the Western Development Commission, it converted its headquarters in Furbo, Co. Galway to bioenergy with the installation of a biomass heating system. In 2014 and 2015, in partnership with the local community and Mayo County Council, Údarás completed a Better Energy Community scheme in Erris, Co Mayo. Additionally in 2015, Údarás has completed a significant Better Energy Communities project that encompasses the entire Gaeltacht area. The GREAT (Growing Renewable Energy Applications and Technologies), that was funded by INTERREG and successfully led by Údarás na Gaeltachta, has completed with full results now available for download. Continuing in 2015, Údarás has committed to the three year implementation process to become a Sustainable Energy Community for the Gaeltacht region.

3. Research - Winner: RR Projects, Offaly

RR Projects for the development of a novel modular air cooled condenser (MACC) for steam power plants. The technology is designed and manufactured at their plant in Tullamore. By modularizing the air cooled condenser design and integrating speed controllable fans the MACC has achieved an efficiency gain of 4% over conventional air cooled condensers. Each module measures 2m X 8m and consists of a bank of finned tubes and a bank of speed controllable fans. On a 250MW plant it is estimated that the efficiency gains would result in a revenue increase of almost €12M/year. Once commercialized, this technology could be used worldwide to deploy Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants. The technology has been installed on a 1MW CSP plant in Australia, after which RR Projects intends to progress to a 30MW Plant.

4. Community - Winner: Clonakility Community Cycle Scheme, Cork

Clonakilty Community Cycle Scheme has developed a rural bike rental scheme in Clonakilty, Co. Cork with the support of a local community organisations and businesses. It provides low cost, short-period rental of bicycles to the local community and tourists. It operates from drop and collection points located at the town's various hotels, who manage the hiring out of the bikes and payments using a software tool developed by the scheme. The scheme has been in operation since July 2015 and already has 500 members. Locals can join for an annual fee of €20 and tourists pay €10 for a four day membership. They have plans to extend the scheme and are also considering electric bicycles powered by Photo Voltaics. The Clonakilty Community Cycle Scheme is not for profit and self-financing.

5. Large Industry - Winner: AbbVie Ireland

AbbVie Ireland NL B.V. for their Energy Management Program "Reduce Carbon Footprint" which involved implementing a range of energy saving initiatives to improve the efficiency of their space heating, chillers, air handling units, steam boilers. They also introduced new heat recovery systems and variable speed drives to further reduce their energy usage. Their approach has been to apply off the shelf technologies in an innovative way, which makes this project highly replicable. AbbVie Ireland has invested €2.5M and are achieving annual savings of €800K and 2,575 tonnes of Carbon. The AbbVie Corporate commitment is to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 and AbbVie Ireland has set a stretch target for their site, to reduce their CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020. The site has also set targets for a 20% reduction in water consumption and waste generation by 2020. The site achieved zero waste to landfill status in 2014.


6. Public Sector - Winner: Tipperary County Council

Tipperary County Council for their development of a Strategic Energy Management Plan following the merger of North and South Tipperary County Councils. They have delivered a wide range of projects including large biomass boilers in leisure centres, heat pumps in the civic offices and other public buildings, two micro wind turbines at motorway junctions, two CHP engines in Clonmel and Tipperary Town pools, nine buildings supplied by solar PV panels which has generated large interest with a view to replication. Tipperary County Council has been supported by Tipperary Energy Agency in the delivery of the measures and this strong partnership is key to their success.

7. Small Business - Winner: Foxrock Golf Club

Foxrock Golf Club for their Energy Conservation Plan. The Club put in place an energy plan for 2014 and applied for funding under SEAI's Better Energy Communities scheme. The energy efficiency measures installed included lighting upgrades, boiler replacement, zoning of the club, heating controls, high efficiency compressors and improved insulation. The Club put energy on the agenda and had monthly meetings and monthly monitoring. The project raised energy awareness for management, visitors, players and staff. The Energy Committee is now approached by players for energy advice on their own homes. The approach has high replication potential and they have already facilitated visits from other Clubs.


8. Leadership - Winner: EPS

EPS Group, an Irish owned water, wastewater and pumping treatment specialist has been providing energy efficient, low carbon sustainable water solutions to communities, industries and utilities throughout Ireland for over 46 years. EPS has continued to maintain its CEMARS and ISO50001 certification for its carbon footprint and energy management systems - both firsts for its sector, while also leading several first of a kind energy collaboration projects nationwide. The projects, which involved community groups, industries, utilities and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), resulted in 81 voluntary groups receiving in access of €1.93million funding to support the energy initiatives resulting in savings of over 8 GigaWatt hours and a reduction of 26,000 tonnes of carbon.


9. Design - Winner: GKinetic Ltd

GKinetic Energy Ltd. for its innovative HydroKinetic turbine that harnesses power from rivers and oceans. The device requires no height differential or head as it exploits the natural phenomena that occurs when fluid accelerates around an obstacle. It has two vertical axis water turbines, which are placed either side of an innovative flow-accelerating body and it has a novel system to control the pitch of the turbine blades. In addition, a deployment vessel has been designed which allows the turbines to be easily raised out of the water for servicing. In order to reduce operating costs, the design also includes the use of a remote monitoring software system. It is a family run business and the company has designed and tested a 1:10 scale turbine and is now working towards building a larger scale prototype for further testing.

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