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Cork Co Co go Green

October 22

Cork City Council is one of the first urban councils to introduce green (100%) renewable energy supply both for the city’s unmetered public lighting as well as for all its traffic signal installations

The switch from ESB to leading independent power supplier Energia will lead to substantial savings for the city council as well as for the environment, and is consistent with the city’s policy and drive towards more sustainable and efficient energy usage.

Energia is one of the leading suppliers of green power to Ireland’s local authorities. Since the unmetered electricity market was opened to competition over a year ago, twenty seven local authorities have switched to Energia, including Cork City Council, Laois County Council, Louth, Carlow County Council, Kilkenny County Council, Monaghan County Council, Wexford County Council and Wicklow County Council.

The energy transfer with Energia will involve 8.63GWhrs of green electricity to power the city’s 14,000 public lights along with the 250 traffic signal installations. This is the energy required to power over 1,800 homes per year. The city council’s switch from conventional power generation to green power will result in an annual reduction of roughly 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

By moving their €1 million unmetered electricity account to Energia, Cork City Council will make an annual saving of €116,000.  

Since 2007, Cork City Council has also lead the way in both trialing and implementing state-of-art public lighting monitoring and control, employing sophisticated wireless roadside controllers for light dimming along with automatic lamp monitoring (e.g. lamp outage). Already, savings of order 30% in energy usage and reduced carbon emissions have been achieved compared to conventional lantern ballast control. Cork City Council is also actively exploring further efficiencies, involving improved electronic lantern ballast gear combined with the use of long-life lamps.

Also noted is Cork City Councils school warning signs inventory, utilising 100% solar power via independent solar photovoltaic cells.  
Following the success of Cork city’s introduction of highly efficient and extreme long life Light-Emitting-Diode (LED) lighting scheme in Shandon Pedestrian Bridge, with savings of over 30% compared to previous florescent based lighting, Cork City Council will organize a trial installation of LED public lighting on the basis of fully designed schemes being submitted by prospective suppliers. The LED luminaires consume approximately just 66% of the energy used by conventional high pressure sodium lamps (SON) but the technology has yet to be proven for general road lighting applications. 
Commenting on the latest energy saving account with Energia, Ian Winning, Senior Executive Engineer with Cork City Council said “We are delighted with the move to Energia as the reductions in cost are supporting our commitment to replace obsolete fittings and lanterns with more energy efficient lighting throughout the city. We have adopted an ‘Invest to Save’ approach to replacement and upgrading to ‘low carbon lighting’ using leading edge control technologies manufactured in Ireland. The electronic control gear has been installed in a variety of lantern types from Mardyke, Walk and Western Road, to St. Luke’s Cross in addition to national route lighting. Our effort towards achieving energy reductions is now matched by a very competitive offer from Energia.”
Aidan Brennan, Key Account Manager, Energia, added: “We are delighted to have signed another major deal with Cork City Council. Switching to Energia is good business for public and private sector organisations as it means cost savings, and that’s good news for their bottom line.”

“We are delighted with the massive response we’ve received from local authorities all over Ireland to our move into the unmetered electricity market. Our decision to start competing in the unmetered electricity market was based on our aim of delivering competitive power offerings. We deliver value to our customers in both the electricity, gas or green power sectors.”

A member of the Viridian Group, Energia has 250MW of renewable electricity capacity contracted within its energy portfolio, the majority of which is operational with a further 300MW of wind farm projects currently in development across Ireland.

Energia also sources conventional power from the Group’s power stations in north Dublin, where the company has invested €500 million with the capability to supply up to 17% of electricity requirements on an all-island basis.

Energia has offices in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Belfast and Omagh

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