Among the first in Ireland to use clean, sustainable solar energy at the plant

Irish Water is reducing the carbon footprint of treatment plants in Limerick and Tipperary through a sustainable energy pilot project.

The Nenagh Wastewater Treatment Plant in Tipperary and the Newcastle West Wastewater Treatment Plant in Limerick are among the first in Ireland to use clean, sustainable solar energy at the plant, reducing energy consumption.

Limerick

The project at Newcastle West, run in partnership with Limerick City and County Council, involved installing 112 solar panels on the grounds of the plant. The solar panels will generate 26,500 kWh (kilowatt hours) electricity per year, providing a clean, renewable and secure supply of energy for the plant and reducing carbon emissions by 11 tonnes per year.

Tipperary

The project at Nenagh, run in partnership with Tipperary County Council, involved installing 118 solar panels on the grounds of the plant. The solar panels will generate 32,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) electricity per year, providing a clean, renewable and secure supply of energy for the plant and reducing carbon emissions by 15 tonnes per year.

Stephen Seymour, Capital Portfolio Delivery Manager with Irish Water, said “Treating wastewater requires a huge amount of energy. In fact Irish Water is one of the largest energy users in the country. We are committed to becoming more sustainable and improving our energy efficiency year on year. We expect this pilot project to show how moving to solar energy and becoming more energy efficient will improve our energy profile, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving money.”

Feasibility study

Following the success of this pilot programme, we are undertaking a feasibility study to see how solar energy can be rolled out to water and wastewater treatment plants across the country, with a further 15-20 sites proposed.

The installation works were carried out by Saliis Limited on behalf of Irish Water and were completed in June 2019.

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