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Ballyvolane Fire Station goes even greener and saves more money

Solo Energy has teamed up with Cork City Council to install a groundbreaking energy storage system at Ballyvolane Fire Station. It’s hoped that the project will save taxpayers up to €1,500 per year in energy consumption as cheaper night-rate electricity from the battery or storage system will be used to offset periods of high consumption when electricity costs more.

Cork-based Solo Energy, in collaboration with ESB Networks, is rolling out a network of distributed energy storage systems at a number of private and public buildings as part of this SEAI-funded research project called ‘eStore’. As part of the project, Cork City Council will prioritise solar energy generation over using grid electricity.

The storage system will also take pressure off the wider electricity grid as the fire station will have reduced demand at peak times as it will have electricity in storage.  The operation of such a network will be the first of its kind for the power system in Ireland. Last year, Cork City Council installed 42 solar PV panels on the roof of Ballyvolane Fire Station. The system currently offsets approximately 17% of the buildings electricity consumption and eliminates 4500 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere every year.

John Walsh, Cork City Council Energy Manager said, “Cork City Council are delighted to showcase the latest green technologies in our public building. This is an exemplar project and the council are obliged to reduce their energy consumption by 33% up to 2020.”

The eStore project involves the installation of ‘behind-the-meter’ battery storage devices, in some instances together with solar panels, at several locations and amongst different customer types. Solo Energy is developing a cloud-connected software platform to control this network of batteries across the grid – enabling customers to get more from their solar PV systems and to access low-cost electricity at off‑peak times.

Killian O’Connor, COO of Solo Energy, said: “Cork City Council has shown a strong appetite to showcase energy innovations throughout their building stock and we are delighted to be working with them on the eStore project. Solo Energy are bringing a new dimension to the Council’s existing energy efficiency and renewable generation projects and we believe that pioneering trial will demonstrate the huge potential for energy storage to lower energy costs and decarbonise energy supply.”

The eStore project received funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) as part of the Energy Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) fund. The fund aims to support sustainable energy research into market solutions which overcome barriers to a secure and clean energy future. Priority areas include energy efficiency, citizen engagement and energy storage. The project will be featured on the RTE programme “10 Things to Know About” later this Autumn.

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