Irish Water considers expanding use of solar

Irish Water has announced that it is considering the use of solar energy at water and wastewater treatment plants across the country following the success of a pilot programme.

In June, Saliis Limited completed the installation of solar panels at the Nenagh Wastewater Treatment Plant in Tipperary and the Newcastle West Wastewater Treatment Plant in Limerick.

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 electricity per year, providing a clean, reducing carbon emissions by 15 tonnes per year.

The project at Newcastle West, run in partnership with Limerick City and County Council, involved installing 112 solar panels, which will generate 26,500 kWh electricity per year, reducing carbon emissions by 11 tonnes per year.

Irish Water has now announced that it is 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 to 20 sites proposed.

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.”