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Galway families’ free hot water – thanks to harnessing of surplus renewable energy

Over 150 Galway families will soon have their homes supplied with free tanks of hot water – thanks to the harnessing of surplus renewable energy.

That’s because their homes will be fitted out with an EnergyCloud enabled smart device which uses this renewable energy, which would otherwise be wasted, to heat immersion tanks.

The initiative was announced as part of an ongoing collaboration between not-for-profit EnergyCloud Ireland and Amazon Web Services and it was launched last week at the Gusta Gaoithe wind farm in Ardderoo outside Moycullen by Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Alan Dillon.

John Mullins, Chairperson of EnergyCloud Ireland, described the project as a win-win.

“Access to free renewable energy means that families that are part of the EnergyCloud project can simultaneously save money on electricity while reducing their use of fossil fuels,” he said.

“The project is a win-win-win as we are collectively creating solutions for surplus energy rather than simply switching off wind turbines and solar panels.

“For example, according to EirGrid, 5480 GWh of renewable wind energy was dispatched down between 2018 and 2023. That energy could have heated 1.825 billion hot water tanks, and the approximate retail value of this wasted wind energy was €1.592 billion,” he added.

At the launch, Minister Dillon described it as ‘an ambitious and creative project’.

“The Government has clear ambitions under the Climate Action Plan in relation to flexible demand management, which maximises the efficiency of our renewable electricity generation and reduces our dependence on fossil fuel generation at peak demand times,” he said.

“As more and more smart energy solutions for renewable energy generation, storage and sharing continue to be developed, the Government expects more homes to be able to take advantage of excess renewable energy, thereby reducing their energy costs and carbon footprint.

“We know from EirGrid that there is a significant amount of dispatched down renewable energy which could be utilised in other ways, such as to heat hot water tanks. That is why initiatives such as EnergyCloud are so important,” he added.

Minister Dillon was joined by representatives from Wind Energy Ireland, AWS, EnergyCloud Ireland and a range of state and other agencies.

CEO of Wind Energy Ireland, Noel Cunniffe praised the vision of EnergyCloud to use wind energy ‘which would otherwise be wasted to instead provide hot water for homes living in energy poverty’.

“As a country we are working towards having 80% of Ireland’s electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030 and that will make us much more weather dependent. Initiatives such as EnergyCloud help to maximise that opportunity to use energy when the wind is blowing, while also helping people in fuel poverty,” he said.

Pictured: John Mullins, Chairperson of EnergyCloud Ireland, Minister Hildegarde Naughton, Government Chief Whip, Minister Alan Dillon, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Neil Morris, Country Lead for Ireland at AWS at the Gusta Gaoithe Wind Farm Co. Galway for the launch of a new EnergyCloud project in Galway with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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