Date Released: 22 November 2013
Commissioners of Irish Lights is a finalist in Sustainable Energy Environment Awards 2013
The Commissioners of Irish Lights , the General Lighthouse Authority for Ireland was a finalist in the Environment category at the 2013 annual SEAI’s Sustainable Energy Awards held last night at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Irish Lights was recognised for implementing efficient and sustainable energy solutions by reducing their use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions arising from the solarisation programme for lighthouses. Since the inception of this solaristion programme Irish Lights has saved approximately 2 million kg of CO2.
Ms Yvonne Shields, Chief Executive of Irish Lights commented
“Irish Lights are very proud to have been nominated for this award. I see this nomination as recognition of the contribution of generations of Irish Lights personnel and their families to the safety, security and environmental protection of the Irish coast. Care for the environment has always been at the heart of our organisation and its staff. The difference between a diesel powered and solar powered lighthouse will be readily apparent to all”.
“Lighthouse stations, as well as providing safe and efficient passage at sea, are havens for a vast array of local flora and fauna. It has always been our approach in Irish Lights to respect our environment and minimize our environmental impact. Improvements in battery, solar panel and LED technology are facilitating the removal of diesel generators at our offshore lighthouses. This directly reduces the stations carbon footprint while at the same time reducing fossil fuel used in delivering fuel and personnel to the stations and reducing the risk of pollution incidents. The mariner receives the same reliable service, our funding stakeholders benefit from reduced costs, the planet and future generations benefit from sustainable energy use”.
Now in their tenth year, the Sustainable Energy Awards, organised by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) champion long-term sustainable energy solutions and encourage, recognise and reward excellence in energy management. A total of ten awards were given in a range of categories including; research, innovation, collaboration, environment, public sector, small business, community, industry, legacy and leadership.
2013 is the twentieth anniversary of the first lighthouse solarisation of Rathlin O’Birne in Donegal in 1993. With advances in light emitting diode (LED) technology, Irish Lights has replaced high-powered lights previously supplied by diesel generators with low-powered high intensity LED lights supplied from batteries charged by solar panels, equating to annual savings of approximately 200,000 kg of CO2 and €31,000 in fuel costs.
This solarisation programme will continue until 2018 and has resulted in the considerable reduction in operating costs while maintaining the reliability required for a safety-critical marine navigation service.
For further information please contact:
Commissioners of Irish Lights