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02 Dec 2021

Help at hand for community energy projects in Kilkenny

Help at hand for community energy projects in Kilkenny

Energy consultant, Tom Bruton

Community groups and organisations in Kilkenny have been urged to take the first step in reducing their carbon footprint by attending a free online webinar this month to learn more about opportunities to develop their own renewable energy project.

Organised by independent energy agency 3cea (3 Counties Energy Agency) with the support of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, the digital event on September 28 will outline the results of the Grid Study recently carried out in the area and how community groups can use this information to see whether a renewable energy project might work in their locality.

The webinar, which will run from 9:30am to 12.00pm, will also discuss how a community would develop such a project.

Kilkenny has seen a rise in energy efficient retrofits in the last few years with a growing number already in development across the region through the SEAI Sustainable Energy Community programme, at local community centres, sports clubs, parish committees, childcare centres and community health organisations, such as organisations that provide accommodation and supports to the elderly, national schools. And now, with the introduction of the government’s Renewable Energy Support Scheme, communities can not only save energy but can also create renewable energy by setting up their own solar farm or wind farm, ultimately selling that power to the national grid to make an income for their community. 3cea energy engineer Gráinne Kennedy said a community taking ownership of its energy is a powerful thing:

“Whether your group would like to take basic steps to improve energy efficiency, or you have ambitions to take on a renewable energy project, being in control of your own energy is a powerful thing for any community”, Gráinne commented.

“I would urge anyone interested, from Tidy Towns committee to GAA clubs to schools and parish committees and more, to register for this online event and get tips from the experts about what’s possible in your community and the funding opportunities available. Community renewable energy projects will reduce your carbon emissions in your locality while providing your community with an income for the long term. They also ensure the local community is in control, and that the project is aligned with broader community goals.”

Guest speakers at the webinar are Rory Mullan of electrical engineering consultancy Mullan Grid Consulting, who will discuss the findings of a recent grid study carried out in the area and help attendees identify if there is an opportunity to connect to the grid in their area; and Tom Bruton, of BioXl, an energy consultancy with expertise in renewable energy, who will look at the key steps and considerations a community must take in the development of a renewable energy project, such as securing land rights, planning assessments and submission, grid application submission, payment milestones, qualifying and tendering for auction, preparing legal structures and community investment proposals.

To register for 3cea’s upcoming webinar, visit https://3cea.ie/event

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