Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) is delighted to announce that it will lead out a €1.6 million EU project, SMARTrenew, funded by the Northern Periphery Area (NPA) Interreg programme. This successful competitive bid, won under the stewardship of project leader Dr Nick Timmons of the WiSAR Lab at LYIT, will fund the adoption of smart innovative renewable technology in rural regions of Northern Europe, which are over reliant on fossil fuels for heating and energy.

It is also particularly rewarding that the project will address the real issues of energy poverty and security experienced in the North West cross border area, as well as many other areasof the country. SMARTrenew will bring innovation in the smart delivery and storage of renewable energy.

The consortium consists of organisations such as universities, research institutes, local authorities, SMEs, and nationalenergy authorities from six countries: Norway, Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland. They all have complementary skills and experience in delivering renewable energy solutions and a major component of the project will be the transnational sharing of ideas and innovative solutions between the partner regions. This will allow countries with lower levels of renewables maturity to benefit directly from their further advanced partners.

This is a strategically important win for the region as Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane DistrictCouncils are all part of the consortium. Speaking about the announcement, Dr Nick Timmons, Project Leader for LYIT,outlined,This is a timely success for not only for LYIT but also for the region. For over ten years the WiSAR Lab @LYIThas been delivering innovative wireless technology solutions into many industries including in the area of renewable energy; now with this project there is an opportunity to make real difference not only to the lives of the citizens of these regions and their environments, but also to the local economies”.

The main aims of this three-year project are to:

generate greater awareness amongst communities and local authorities of renewable systems;
to illustrate that local energy poverty can be decreased, and energy security increased in dispersed communities by implementing smart renewable energy and heat storage management;
to ensure reduced energy waste in emerging renewable energy solutions for residences and public buildings.

This is a positive milestone in terms of research activity for LYIT. Speaking about this project, Dr draig Ó Gallchóir, Head of Research and Innovation, commented,This successful EU funding bid represents a major achievement. The development of Renewable Energy is a key theme in LYIT’s Research Strategy and SMARTrenew will complement existing activity and research in this field.

The key to the sustainability and growth beyond the project duration will be promotion of stakeholder ownership (citizens, local businesses, regional authorities, education centres) in these innovations including enhancing local and national policy-makers capacity to effect change. The intended outputswill be to showcase Smarter Energy Rural Communities”who will develop the capacity to continue to improve their energy services by integrating new technologies and models as they mature after the project. The outputs from the projects will be 18 houses and public buildings retrofitted with smart renewable energy and storage solutions; a smart energy storage service; and one renewable energy management service.

Photo: 

The consortium leading out the multinational EU project SMARTrenew funded by the Northern Periphery Area (NPA) Interreg programme.

Back row left to right:

Bjarti Thomsen, Environmental Agency, Faroe Islands; Ragnar Asmundsson, HeatRD, Iceland, Sigurour Frioleifsson, Orkusetur, Iceland; Oystein Kleven, NORUT, Norway, John Gallagher, Donegal County Council; Paddy Mullen, Donegal County Council.

Front row left to right:

Heather Young, DCSDC; Leo Strawbridge, DCSDC; Elaine Whoriskey, Nick Timmons & Jim Morrison, LYIT.

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