Ireland’s Atlantic Technological University opens government-funded biomass centre
ATU's Letterkenny, Donegal campus was awarded funding from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications to build the heat centre. It is now providing renewable energy to 80% of the main building at its Business Incubation Centre (BIC).
The BIC building biomass heating centre at ATU Donegal was successful under round two of funding of the Energy Efficiency Decarbonisation Pathfinder Programme for Higher Education.
The programme is administered through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Higher Education Authority (HEA).
Simon Harris TD, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, said: “We have set ambitious targets for improving energy efficiency across our college and university campuses.
“ATU has proven with its application for this biomass heat centre that there is a culture of innovation here, and I’m delighted to see their plans have now come to fruition with the delivery of this forward-thinking project.
“The university is known for engaging in pioneering projects that deliver tangible results and this project is a milestone in the journey we must all make to reduce our energy use.
“Projects like this one will go a long way towards driving down our greenhouse gas emissions so we can contribute to our national climate objective of being a competitive, low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050.”
Minister of State Ossian Smyth said: “SEAI and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science have been doing fantastic work under Pathfinder. I’m delighted to see another university benefitting.
“The programme, which has been running since 2017, means far more than reducing energy bills and carbon emissions. I’d highly recommend watching this excellent video in which other third level and higher educational institutions outline what it has meant for them.”
Dr Orla Flynn, President of ATU, said: "Today marks a milestone in our journey towards a more sustainable future. The Biomass Centre is a testament to ATU's dedication to environmental stewardship and innovation in energy efficiency."