Community Energy - Matching Local Energy production with Local Consumption


  • 200

    Trial Participants
  • 80

    Smart Meters Installed
  • 2018

    SEAI Energy Award Winner

Communities play a huge role in transitioning Ireland towards a zero carbon economy

Transitioning Ireland towards a zero carbon economy requires a move towards more sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydropower. Consumers and communities can play a huge part in this transition.

MPOWER recently won the award for best research project at the SEAI Energy Awards. Their project ‘Tallaght Community Energy Living Lab’ also known as ‘Tallaght Smart Grid Test Bed’ lead to the development and demonstration of a trial community energy grid in Tallaght.

The idea behind the project was to produce energy from low carbon sources within the community for use locally. The project began in 2013 with 20 participants and now has around 200 contributors.  Community buildings, like the South Dublin County Council offices, have installed roof top solar panels. They are part of the community grid as a producer whereby in effect they become a prosumer - both a producer and consumer of energy.

One of the key benefits of this project is that communities can then sell the energy generated locally within the community or to the wholesale market. This creates a new layer in the energy market.

The grid, which is the system that monitors our electricity flow, must always have a balance between supply and demand. However, production levels from some renewable energy sources can fluctuate throughout the day. For example, more solar energy is generated at sunnier times but peak customer demand is in the mornings and evenings. This demand/supply imbalance can be challenging for the electric grid. The aim of this project is to demonstrate the successful management of electricity demand and supply at the community level.


SEAI Research Funding

The SEAI Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme first supported this project in 2013 and has continued to support and enable it to grow and develop from a concept idea through to implementation and demonstration.

This research project was led by the Micro Electricity Generation Association (MEGA), and formed part of a wider consortium including South Dublin County Council,  MPower, DIT,  and ITT

Secure funding from Horizon 2020

The Tallaght Smart Grid continues to grow and develop. MEGA and its commercial subsidiary MPOWER have since gone on to secure EU funding from the EU Research and Innovation Funding programme, Horizon 2020. They are part of the Irish contingent of the successful Horizon 2020 CityxChange project which consists of a consortium of 32 partners from 11 countries, and will receive €20 million in funding.

Irish partners will receive €6.5m to engage with citizens in the development of a series of demonstration projects investigating how to become a smart positive-energy city, whilst collaborating with cities in Norway, Romania, Czech Republic, Spain, Bulgaria and Estonia. Having gained so much experience on the Tallaght Smartgrid Test Bed project, MEGA and MPOWER are well positioned to provide invaluable knowledge and insights on this new Horizon 2020 smart cities project.

MEGA is first and foremost a collaboration. It is the diversity and determination of this original group and its gradual expansion, along with on-going support of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and other sponsors which has enabled MEGA to pass that critical line where it no longer had to rely on theory and concepts, but could move to the point of referring to research activities and discoveries, which point the way forward, not just for Ireland's Energy Challenge but the international community
Dudley Stewart , MEGA
Connections to the Grid No.
Includes both users and producers and comprises of below 200
  • Households
  • St. Anne’s GAA Community Sports Centre
  • Glenasmole Community Centre
  • South Dublin County Council
  • St. Anne’s National School, Glenasmole
Other Components   
Wind turbines:  (Ballinascorney, Glenasmole) 1
Solar PV panel Installations 3
  • South Dublin County Council (50 KW),
  • Glemasmole Community Centre (5 KW)
  • St. Anne’s National School, Glenasmole (3.5 KW

Heat Pumps (Air to Water & Air to Air):

  • St. Anne’s GAA Community Sports
  • Glenasmole Community Centre

Smart Link Units, including prosumer Smart Meters


Battery Peak-Shaver/Power-Matcher


Data communication network (Machine to machine communications)

Community Grid Stabiliser including 1

Micro-Hydro Pump-as-Turbine Test Bed