Aiming to Create an Energy Independent Region

Where IsOurPlace? Who Are We ?

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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.

First we reduced energy consumption; Now we'll try to produce renewable energy.

Progress to date

The following has been achieved:

  • • Funding has been secured from Wicklow County Council and the Greenstar Ballynagran Landfill Community Fund.
  • • 340 households in the catchment area have completed an energy audit.
  • • A detailed report detailing energy uses and costs has been produced.
  • • A radon test has been completed of each house in the catchment area.
  • • The primary school has been retrofitted with passive house materials.
  • • Low energy light bulbs have been distributed to households.
  • • A local walkway has been upgraded and opened up to walkers.
  • • 150 energy monitors have been distributed to households and schools

  • Projects on-going as of February 2015

  • • A proposed community wind turbine has reached stage where a test mast has been erected in Jan 2015.
  • • A house Retrofit project is in progress to bring energy levels up to C rating on 5 houses.
  • The vision

    To 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...
    Rural Area - Includes approx 600 homes, 1 village, 1 school
    These are the Townlands included in the Ballynagran Energy Plus Community


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        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.

    Aiming to be one of the most Energy Efficient Areas

    What we are hoping to achieve with the project

    Major Community benefits

    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.

    School Building Approaching Passive House Standard

    Community Projects - Completed (almost)

    Glenealy School

    Retrofitting to Passive House Standard Completed

    Kilbride Church

    Retrofitting to Church completed

    Gleneally Hall

    Energy Upgrade and repair works currently underway

    Local Houses retrofitted en masse

    Community Scheme for assisting Household retrofit

    Read More
    Consolidate the already considerable retrofitting progress made by the Ballynagran Energy Plus Community

    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 -

    Details Here.

    Making OurPlace a Better Place for Everybody

    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!

    Once condemned, now part of Heritage Tourism

    Community Wind Turbine - An Option

    Feasibilty study completed.

    Potential for wind turbine 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

    Enhancing an already excellent and world renowned walking holiday destination
         Encouraging Zero Carbon Transport and a Healthy Habit
    This is the Zero CO2e part of Transport Policy

    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

    Items down on Transport Agenda:-

    Electric Charging Points

    Local Area Public Transport

    Approaching Zero Carbon use in a Holistic Way
    On Saturday Mornings from during Spring, Summer and Autumn

    Food Group - Farmers Market

    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.

    Could the local community possibly benefit from Wicklow's most abundant resource ?

    Community Forest

    an interesting proposition because:

    Dovetails with other Ballynagran Energy⁺ Projects.

    Long-term community economic development.

    Community economic participation.

    Local employment.

    Sharing of materials & machinery.

    Local-level decision making.

    Educational spin-off.

    Benefits the community.

    A Wonderful Example of Energy Efficiency in our Community

    Passive House

    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.


    Cutting Edge European Research in the Garden of Ireland

    Our European and Local Partners

    Interreg This project could not have got off the ground without the assistance European Regional Development Funding - Interreg IVD North West Europe .

    The link to the InterReg website is here InterReg IVB North-West Europe


    Zecos is the name of the overall European Project in which Ballynagran, along with 7 other NW Europe Communities, is participating. Zecos stands for a Zero CO2e Emission Certification System and the Ballynagran Project is a vital part of the research in developing this Emission Certification System.

    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

    Wicklow County Council is the leading local authority in Ireland with regard to Environmental Awareness, Education and Research and their Community, Culture and Social Development Department has been particularly helpful to this project.

    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

    The Future of this Local Funding Source is very much in doubt

    How local funding has helped this Project.

    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.

    Education and Innovation to Improve our Environment and make OurPlace a better place

    Wicklow County Campus

    Immediately adjacent to the Ballynagran Energy Plus community.


    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.


    Read Wicklow County Council's Strategy for the Campus.


    Read Wicklow County Council's Exec-Summary- Vision for the Campus

    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 :

    renewable energy technologies and sustainable design at its core with a parallel emphasis on Passive House construction and zero energy building.
    Can  You Influence How this Project is Implemented?

    How to get involved

    If you wish to participate in the project and avail of the free energy audit, radon test, light bulbs and other community benefits, please contact us through our website

    Ballynagran Energy Plus

    or just click Join Your Community.

    If you are already a member of this online community Join or Create a Group that interests you at Join or Create a Group


    We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


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