Renewable energy sources
Because we want to pass this planet on to future generations in great shape, we are really keen to make sure that we only ‘take’ things that we can give back. For that reason, we are keen to make sure that the energy we use is sustainable, and that we are not permanently depriving the land we live on of important resources.
We have the same philosophy when it comes to generating power too. We aren’t stupid - we know that no-one wants to generate ‘clean’ power if it costs a fortune - so we look at ways that are not only friendly to the environment, but are also cost effective too.
One such way we do this is through using a geothermal pump to heat our timber frame houses. Water is in pipes that are buried beneath the earth. The earth warms up the water in the pipes, and it is then pumped inside the house to warm it - a much more eco-friendly way to get underfloor heating, and a cost-effective one too.
We also aim to use other energy sources as our project grows in size and stature. We can use the methane created by our biodigester as we break our waste down to provide energy that we can use to cook, see our cleaning water section.
We intend to demonstrate a small domestic “mini” hydro Electricity scheme which will produce sufficient electricity for a single household, this turbine will be powered by a small waterfall below our silt trap pond.
A slightly larger “micro” hydro scheme which will be fed from a mountain run off stream will also be demonstrated, the power from which will supply the energy needs of several houses on the foundation.
As part of our educational infrastructure we are also hoping to be able to demonstrate a Pumped Hydro Electric Storage plant, this facility will act just like a battery, which will help to stabilise the somewhat erratic power that is generated by renewable energy facilities such as wind to the national grid and which, we hope will be an inspirational model for others to replicate.
Pumped Hydro Electric Storage
A local green energy company, “Organic Power Ltd.” are promoting the development of this scheme which will be constructed on the Foundations’ land, along with a portion of land belonging to our neighbour on our eastern boundary. The facility will comprise of two lakes that will be specially constructed to hold water that can be converted into energy at a moment’s notice, at the flick of a switch. The lower lake will be constructed within an area of land, the topography of which forms a natural bowl in the landscape which used to hold a turf bog but which has now been almost completely cut out over the years. The upper lake will be constructed from material excavated from the lower lake. A pipe will join the two lakes, when there is excess energy on the grid (usually at night) then water will be pumped up to the top lake where it will be stored. During the day (when the country needs it most) at times of peak demand, the water will be released from the top to the bottom lake, during its descent the water passes through a turbine which will generate an estimated 45Mwh of electricity onto the national grid. This means that the excess energy from the wind farms that would normally be lost is saved and kept for when it is needed, also if there is no wind for a few days, the pumped hydro can work as a battery and still provide clean energy into the grid. For further information regarding this installation please visit the Organic Power website http://www.organicpower.ie/phes.php.