The Western Development Commission launches their Local Energy Communities (LECo) project in IT Sligo

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The Western Development Commission launched their Local Energy Communities (LECo) project in IT Sligo on Friday April 6th. The launch was combined with a community energy awareness day. LECo is funded by the NPA programme with partners in Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The goal is to combine new innovative technologies with locally available natural resources, and to raise awareness of energy efficiency and identify possibilities to use renewable energy.

The event was organised and Chaired by Dr Orla Nic Suibhne from the Western Development Commission, and the speakers included:

  • Paul Kenny CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency
  • Ruth Buggie Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) Programme Manger with SEAI
  • Pauline Leonard GREBE Project Coordinator Western Development Commission
  • Mel Gavin R&D Coordinator IT Sligo
  • Aisling Nic Aoidh LECo Project Officer Údarás na Gaeltachta
  • Martin Keating Mayo County Council’s Climate Change Regional Office

At the event, Ruth Buggie from SEAI announced details of a new grant programme specifically designed for communities within the SEC network. This new programme will go live mid April 2018 and aims to develop community skills to a level where they can manage their own capital projects, lead small to medium scale project in their own communities, build and maintain energy awareness and knowledge locally, and also provide funding for small scale demonstration projects to showcase innovative energy solutions. There is €3m available for this new funding programme for communities  in 2018.

Further details are available at: www.facebook.com/LECoproject

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CREST: Supporting businesses in renewable energy & sustainable technologies

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The Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) is an exciting adventure that has been set up to help small businesses in Northern Ireland, the Irish border counties and Western Scotland to develop and adopt renewable energy and sustainable technologies.

CREST provides industry R&D, demonstration and testing facilities for new renewable energy products and sustainable technologies. The facilities are available for use by small companies within the region who have ideas for new products but who currently do not have the physical and/or technical capacity to develop, test and commercialise them.

Within CREST facilities staff are accessible to develop, demonstrate and test new technologies and show how these can be integrated practically and sensibly to achieve energy savings. Services offered by CREST include:

  • R&D in renewable energy systems and sustainable technologies
  • Development and testing of sustainable construction methods and materials
  • Innovative product and component design
  • Development of demonstration prototypes and models
  • Testing of renewable energy systems and products
  • Demonstration and testing of retrofit technologies
  • Data analysis and performance monitoring
  • Advice and consultancy on renewable energy and sustainable technologies

CREST operates across a network of educational institutions including Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre, Institute of Technology Sligo, and Dumfries and Galloway College in Scotland. The flagship facilities for CREST are located at South West College’s Technology and Skills Centre in Enniskillen and comprises of three areas; the CREST Passive Pavillion, the R&D Laboratory and CREST Hub.

It’s hoped that CREST will be a useful resource for businesses participating on the GREBE mentoring programme.  For further information please visit: http://www.swc.ac.uk/innovate/crest/home.aspx