Kieran McKenna, Tipperary County Council; Alan Jackson, Tipperary Energy Agency, and Sarah Fogarty, Community Power at the Solar PV (photovoltaic) array at Ballaghveny landfill at Ballymackey outside
Tipperary County Council is leading the way with its newest solar power installation in the old county landfill at Ballaghveny outside Ballymackey.
The ground mounted panels have doubled its solar panel capacity and is now generating clean renewable power.
The council, which is using some of the additional 250kW for its own energy needs, is now selling excess electricity to a community-owned renewable energy supplier, Community Power.
In 2014, Tipperary County Council made headlines with Ireland’s largest solar photovoltaic project.
The panels were installed on fire stations, libraries, civic offices and leisure centres in a project which increased Ireland’s total PV capacity at the time by 44%.
So far into 2020, these PV systems have generated 123,808 kWh, saving €19,190, and reducing carbon emissions by 41 tonnes.
Engineers from Tipperary Energy Agency designed and managed the installation of the project, with the support of Tipperary County Council and Interreg NWE.
The panels directly convert the sun’s light into electricity and have a lifespan of 25 years.
“It is our vision that every citizen and every community in Ireland can have the opportunity to really be active participants in the energy transition,” said John Fogarty, a co-founder of Community Power.
“For us, that means inspiring people to build their own renewable project, whether on a farm or on a roof, and then buying and selling that clean power to and from themselves,” he said.
“The installation of the solar panel arrays at this landfill in Tipperary is a great example for other local authorities to use such sites to generate renewable energy and reduce energy costs,” said Marion O’Neill, head of environment at Tipperary County Council.
Information on how homeowners and businesses can purchase their community renewably generated electricity can be found on communitypower.ie