Long term collaboration, along with a real commitment to customers and the environment, encourages the discovery of intelligent energy solutions and accelerates innovation for a brighter future.
Simply put, climate smart strategies for people and businesses make sense.
For around 20 years Energia Group has been leading the way in this area. Our innovation hub is consistently busy, proactively developing and testing new ideas to bring to market.
Our range of tech-led solutions for renewable energy contributes to decarbonisation and occupies a pivotal position in a more sustainable energy environment.
Why? Because innovation makes sustainability easier.
Innovation allows people and businesses more control over the energy they generate, use, store and share. It enables us to become energy ‘pro-sumers’ - producers and consumers of energy within our own homes and businesses.
Green business is good business and is far reaching with critical long term benefits.
AN APPETITE FOR RENEWABLES
Energia Group is a leading investor in renewable energy technologies, the expansion of which has been fuelled by an appetite for more efficient and sustainable energy sources. In a world where climate action ambition has been significantly upgraded, wind and bioenergy are two renewable energy sources set to power us to new levels of sustainability.
WIND POWER (ONSHORE)
Energia Group supplies green electricity generated from 1,281 MW of the Group’s own wind farms and other third party renewable generators throughout Ireland. A by-product from sourcing green electricity from these renewable generation sources comes in the form of Community Benefit Schemes which provide funding across social and charitable enterprises in their local areas. Our wind farms co-exist alongside local communities and have become a focal point for educational initiatives on the advantages of creating a renewable and sustainable energy source for us all.
TURNING WASTE INTO KILOWATTS
HUNTSTOWN BIOENERGY FACILITY
Energia Group’s new €50 million bioenergy facility at Huntstown in Dublin will have the ability to accept up to 100,000 tonnes of waste per annum from the Greater Dublin Area. This will be processed into renewable biogas and used to generate electricity for homes and businesses throughout Ireland. Organic fertiliser, a by-product from some of the waste processed by the facility, will be used to enrich the soil of our island.
GIANTS PARK BIOENERGY PLANT
Energia Group has also secured land and development rights for a similar scale bioenergy plant to the Huntstown facility which will be developed at Giant’s Park on the outskirts of Belfast city. This bioenergy facility is targeted to have an annual processing capacity of up to 100,000 tonnes. It will convert organic waste such as garden and food waste into methane rich biogas which will then be used to generate renewable electricity. Similarly to Huntstown, elements of the material remaining post processing will then be used as organic fertiliser for crops and gardens.
When fully operational, the Giant’s Park and Huntstown bioenergy plants will support Energia Group’s ambition to become the leading producer of bioenergy in an all-island energy market.
In order to deliver on the ambitious carbon reduction targets set out in the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework, greater penetration of renewable generation technologies will be required. Offshore wind is a highly scalable renewable energy technology, capable of generating large volumes of low carbon electricity.
Ireland’s location as a coastal nation located in the North Atlantic makes it ideal for off-shore wind development. Energia Group recognises this significant untapped natural resource and is in the process of developing a large scale off-shore project on the South East Coast of Ireland.
THE HYDROGEN PROJECT
Developments in hydrogen production as a viable form of renewable energy along with the awarding of critical new funding, will see Energia Group become market leader on the island of Ireland for the production of renewable hydrogen. Utilising wind output in times of low consumer demand for electricity to produce hydrogen as a fuel for transport is the optimal solution to ultimately enable higher penetrations of renewable technologies in the Irish generation mix.
European (Interreg) and UK (OLEV) funding for the project will go to the development of three key elements for the establishment of Energia Group’s hydrogen business: the installation of 500KW Electrolyser at Long Mountain Wind Farm capable of producing up to 70,000kg of Renewable Hydrogen per year; 3 hydrogen double deck buses to be owned and operated by the NI public transport company (Translink); and a 5 year hydrogen supply agreement with Translink.
This will allow Energia Group to become Ireland’s first energy company to have a long term hydrogen supply contract with a public transport company and become a key enabler in the decarbonisation of the transport sector.
The three hydrogen buses will be produced by a Northern Ireland company (Wrightbus) and may very well be a “world first” in the operation of double deck hydrogen buses.
FLEXIBLE GENERATION FOR THE FUTURE
Energia Group is also assessing new opportunities for investment and growth in Flexible Generation sources. Nowadays, the grid needs to have available power all of the time and an ongoing capability to adjust outputs to suit demands.
As well as the provision of peaking plants which would provide an immediate ‘switch-on’ supply capability to the grid; large scale energy storage facilities are also being seen as a solution.
Developments in this field will allow users more flexibility and control over the energy they use, store and share.
Energia Group is actively developing large scale battery storage facilities in a number of sites across the country.
Achieving high levels of renewable integration on a synchronous power system is unprecedented and presents significant challenges for the real time operation of the power system. The 2030 climate and energy framework includes EU-wide targets and policy objectives for the period from 2021 to 2030. Ireland has indicated it will set a target of 70% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
The system is limited to a certain volume of non-synchronous generation to be connected to the system at any time. This level is currently 60% which is known as the System Non Synchronous Penetration limit (SNSP). The system operators are seeking to increase this level to 75% by using the DS3 enablers, such as system services. Battery storage has been identified as a key technology that will enable this SNSP increase.
Customers are front and centre of our innovation ethos. Listening to them and collaborating with them in a co-creation process means that we only develop products which they value.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and ever more connected home energy systems like Netatmo are playing a huge part in our customer solutions offering.
The electrification of vehicles and the overall move away from relying on non-renewable energy resources in transport have also encouraged customer engagement with new technologies.
Energia Group is partnering with Moixa, providers of smart energy storage solutions, to bring solar PV systems and smart batteries into Irish homes as part of a pilot program launched in 2019
The program, which is being rolled out to 20 homes in the country, will provide a 70% subsidy towards equipment and installation of the integrated system – which enables the delivery of solar-generated power throughout the day, evening and night.
As part of the program, each customer can download the Moixa app and control, view and track their energy generation direct from their phone. The app also provides insights into energy usage and tailored insights into further savings – helping us all learn how electricity generation and storage at home can deliver a greener (and more economical) future.
In all of these areas, Energia Group is leading the way for ‘pro-sumers’ (energy producers and consumers) by providing innovative renewable technologies and flexible generation solutions for people and businesses nationwide.
BEHIND THE METER
As a solution to satisfying 24/7 demands on the grid for energy, Energia Group has invested in major generating assets – both conventional and renewable –complimented by advanced technological solutions to meet the needs of a sophisticated and dynamic energy market.
We are currently working with up to 12 of our largest energy customers to establish Behind the Meter energy generation and storage solutions on their own sites. These solutions would lead to energy being fed into the grid when not required for their own operations.
Current Behind the Meter opportunities being assessed by Energia include:
• Installation of biogas CHP engines on larger scale customer sites;
• Installation of solar and storage across retail sectors, aggregated to participate in wholesale markets;
• Linking of solar and storage installation with EV charging solutions and retail tariffs;
• EV opportunities – e.g. Vehicle to Grid
These “virtual generator” opportunities are currently being assessed and potential funding options for pilot projects being investigated.