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Ballynagran lies in the heart of County Wicklow the ‘Garden of Ireland'.
It has a wealth of outstanding farmland, gardens and woodlands such as Deputy’s Pass, Mount Usher Gardens and Kilmacurragh Gardens and Arboreteum within its vicinity and nearby.
The Ballynagran Community (incorporated as Ballynagran Zero Carbon ltd) has embarked on an ambitious and generous project to become an Energy Plus Community within the next fifteen years
The focus will be on reducing energy consumption in buildings, transportation and food production and where possible to produce our own renewable energy.
The rationale is predicated on the need to diversify the local economy, improve the quality of life of families living in the community, address the community’s over- reliance on fossil fuel and to create local employment.
Included within the Ballynagran Community Energy Plus Project are the Townlands that are within 3km of the area and this 'greater' area includes approximately 600 homes many in Glenealy village to the north-west.
The overall mission of this project is to dramatically reduce the energy use of this rural community and eventually to create an energy independent region.
The long term objective is to produce locally a surplus of energy from renewable resources in order to create an energy independent community. Hence the logo.
The following has been achieved:
Projects on-going as of February 2015
The visionTo improve the quality of life by embracing a more sustainable existence in Ballynagran for future generations. This will be achieved by maximising the amount of energy derived from renewable sources while reducing the community’s demand for fossil fuels, and by developing the green economyDouble-click to edit content...
An area comprising approximately 3500 hectares is included in this project.
Among the townlands are:
Ashtown, Ballinaclogh, Ballinacooley,Ballinameesda Lower, Ballinameesda Upper, Ballinclare, Ballinteskin, Ballydowling, Ballyfree East, Ballygonnell, Ballykeppoge, Ballykillavane, Ballymanus Lower, Ballymerrigan, Ballymoat, Ballymoney, Ballymurrin Lower, Ballymurrin Upper, Ballynabarny, Ballynagran, Ballynerrin Upper, Bonabrocka, Carrigmore, Coolacork, Gormanstown, Hawkstown Lower, Hawkstown Upper, Kilbride, Kilcandra, Kilnamanagh Beg, Kilnamanagh More, Newtown, Roscath.
This project is intended to provide stimulus for the Ballynagran energy plus area through the following benefits for the local community.
Environment – establishing an energy plus community to create a more sustainable environment.
Employment – two persons currently unemployed will be hired to carry out much of the energy audits proposed.
Health – Wicklow is a high risk radon region, and the measurement of radon will identify where remedial measures are required.
Educational – a database detailing the energy use of all houses will provide a valuable research resource.
Image and Reputation – and energy plus community will draw both national and international interest to this region.
Financial - We believe that over time the investments made in sustainable energy projects will more than pay for themselves and will be of financial benefit to the Community.
Community Projects - Completed (almost)
Local Houses retrofitted en masseRead More
Consolidate the Retrofit
Support the installation of wood-burning stoves
Provide advice on external installation
Distribution of energy monitoring meters
Examine alternative solar energy solutions
Forging links with SEAI in order for members to avail of the current grants -
Community Projects - current
Solar Thermal or Photovoltaic energy generation to be studied for use in Community Buildings
Support the setting up of a Community Forest see Community Woodland
Commission detailed study of Wind Energy Generation Options Local Energy Generation
Supporting the continued retro-fitting of houses - solid fuel perhaps!
Community WindFarm - An Option
Feasibilty study completed.
Potential for wind farm identified.
Potential Locations examined
Ideal location identified
Comprehensive public consultation will take place
Economic implications of big or small to be examined
Comparison with alternative renewable energy sources to be outlined
Actual long-term return to community to be detailed
Community Walking Trails
Outline Route planning has taken place
Alternative routes have been identified
Proposed route from Glenealy to Deputy’s Pass
Landowner permissions being sought
Compliance with legal trail requirements being prepared
Appropriate Signage being arranged
Electric Charging Points
Local Area Public Transport
Established in March 2011 at the Beehive, the centre of the Ballynagran Energy Plus Community District.
Operated in line with the country market model which gives local micro producers the option of selling their produce on a commission basis.
Open during Spring, Summer and Autumn on Saturday Mornings. It is a hub for social interaction and trade in the community.
A venue for local people to engage in entrepreneurship and commerce encouraging the development of local business and trade and an ideal location to showcase local artisan producers.
Plans to offer local schools the opportunity to sell produce at the market.
Transition year students business module studies - real experience.
It is an amenity for the people of Wicklow and benefits the community.
The most fundamental element of Zero CO2e Living.
an interesting proposition because:
Dovetails with other Ballynagran Energy⁺ Projects.
Long-term community economic development.
Community economic participation.
Sharing of materials & machinery.
Local-level decision making.
Benefits the community.
Tomas O'Leary, a local resident, is one of main architects of the Ballynagran Energy Plus Community.
Tomas's home was the first certified Passive House built in the English Speaking World.
Tomas is a partner in one of Irelands leading environmental design practices MosArt. The practice comprises Passive House Experts, Architects, Landscape Architects and Urban Designers.
Tomas has produced many instructional videos on energy conservation and on 21st century building technology and practices.
Our European and Local Partners
The link to the InterReg website is here InterReg IVB North-West Europe
We have assembled some information about InterReg and the Zecos Project - see this link Our Partners
The link to the Zecos website is here Zecos Website
They have also administered additional funding through Ballynagran Environmental Community Projects and Works Grant Scheme (BECWGS).
Some additional information about the BECWGS can be accessed here. Ballynagran Grants
And the link to the Wicklow County Council website is here Wicklow County Council
Funding has been secured from Wicklow County Council in association with Greenstar Ballynagran Landfill Community Fund for the first phase of the project.
This involves completing an energy audit of every participating home in the study area, retrofitting the local primary school with Passive House Standard materials and an environmental educational programme.
The first year's effort will provide a very sound basis for subsequent phases which will see the upgrading of homes and business to significantly reduce their energy consumption.
Such works could be done by a Retrofitting Cooperative, owned and operated by the local community, providing sustainable "Green Collar" employment.
Studies into the possibility of establishing a Community Forest, a Community Allotment Scheme and a Community Wind Farm are about to begin.
The feasibility of establishing community electric-car-charging points and expanding the current walking trails are also being explored.
Immediately adjacent to the Ballynagran Energy
Provides lifelong learning higher education programmes on a part-time basis in partnership with The Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow).
Comprises spacious offices, meeting rooms, as well as a large conference venue, classrooms, a college library and IT rooms.
Centre of Excellence for renewable energy technology and design.
Wicklow County Council aims to develop Wicklow County Campus as a Centre of Excellence in Enterprise, Education and Innovation in County Wicklow.The Council's objective is that that the campus acts as a catalyst for Economic Development in the County.
The Council is committed to placing :