We are always looking for clean energy options in our region. For this endeavour, we wanted to research the viability of harnessing the potential renewable energy available at Lough Cumnel Water Works, about 10 km south of Louisburgh. Three forms of renewable energy are considered for microgeneration:
- Hydro Power – The water flowing from the lake to the plant
- Wind Power – The plant is situated in a location suitable for wind energy
- Solar Power – The potential for solar PV is quantified taking into account the available footprint of the plant.
Solar power was found to be the best option as solar can provide over 50% of the energy needs of the plant in the immediate future with existing available technology.
Wind power is the next best option. While the plant is located at an excellent wind site, the availability of suitable equipment is a difficulty. There is one suitable machine available and it should be considered complementary to solar to create a hybrid system.
Hydro power is the least viable option. While in theory a hydro scheme would seem to be compatible with the running of the plant, the scale of water use for domestic supply is nowhere near the scale required for power generation.
You can find the full report below.