A £4.5m renewables project has saved a combined £27,000 in energy costs for 60 Coleraine properties in just one year.
Part-funded by UKRI (£2.2m grant) with £2.3m match-funded, the scheme represents an average saving of 55% per property across the Project.
Northern Ireland’s first smart electricity grid, ‘Project Girona’, was designed by The Electric Storage Company to demonstrate the potential benefits of a SLES (Smart Local Energy System).
Bringing cheaper, smarter, greener electricity to homes and communities in the Ballysally estate, The Electric Storage Company have announced the findings of the 12-month study.
Combining solar panels and battery storage technology, Project Girona has saved businesses, homeowners, tenants, and community groups an average of 55% in electricity costs and saved 40 tonnes of CO2.
The project generated 171MWh of renewable electricity and exported 30MWh of green energy to the grid. The exported electricity generated a further income for the properties and enabled other properties to benefit from clean energy.
Eddie McGoldrick, co-founder of The Electric Storage Company, said: “We’re living through a cost-of-living crisis with energy costs spiralling, and this makes the results of Project Girona even more relevant.
“We have been working on bringing this technology to market for seven years, and it’s now available to customers across NI, who can benefit from reduced electricity costs, whilst reducing their carbon footprint. Combining battery storage with renewable technology is the way forward in future-proofing homes.”
Following the initial pilot project, the homeowners and tenants participating in the project have been gifted the pilot technology, worth £840,000, and will continue to benefit from the savings for years to come.
Co-founder and operations director of The Electric Storage Company, Anne Marie McGoldrick, continued: “Project Girona demonstrated average savings of 55% on electricity bills using this solution. With the addition of our smart management platform, PARIS - which extracts the full economic value of every unit of energy - we are predicting further savings of up to 20% for customers.
“PARIS uses smart technology and data to make the complex simple so that the customer doesn’t have to do a thing.”
Project Girona involved just 60 properties, which in turn saved almost £27,000 in energy costs.
Minister for the Economy, Gordon Lyons, visited Focus on Family, a charitable Nurturing & Development Centre based in Ballysally who had made savings of 69% (£855) on electricity bills since adopting the solar panel and battery storage solution.
Minister Lyons added: “I am aware that the unprecedented rise in energy prices is having an impact on homes, business and the community sector. While we unfortunately do not have control of the global markets dictating many of these costs, green energy projects help to protect consumers by providing alternative sources of energy. Project Girona is an excellent example of an innovative pilot project making energy more affordable.
“My Department’s energy strategy ‘The Path to Net Zero’ is a longer-term strategy for the whole of NI to become less vulnerable to volatile global energy markets. Affordability is front and centre of this strategy which takes an ‘energy efficiency first’ approach aiming to help consumers to reduce the energy they use and therefore their energy bills.”