CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Dr Brian Motherway visited Crossmolina recently and met with the Chair and members of Crossmolina Community Development Committee and other stakeholders in the Community to discuss the potential for Crossmolina to be funded as a Better Energy Community. The meeting was organised by Deputy Michelle Mulherin who said she was delighted that Dr Motherway accepted her invitation to come to Crossmolina for the meeting.
“The fortunes of Crossmolina have been very much tied with energy going back to the operation of the Bord Na Mona peat burning power station at Bellacorrick which provided much employment and spending power to the town. The Gussing Project which was previously mooted in 2010 to bring about modern energy projects for the town was ultimately shelved,” she said.
“ A lot of work was put in by some locals at the time and I was anxious to see this interest and effort not go to waste and to see modern energy projects benefit the town and revitalise the local economy. That is why I invited Dr Motherway,” added Deputy Mulherin.
'SEAI provide grants for projects like insulation of homes and businesses, new heating systems and the integration of renewable and sustainable energy systems to achieve energy efficiency and conservation. Participation in the Better Energy Community Scheme would see a reduction in energy costs for participants and in carbon emissions. While some funding is required from the community the grants have never been more generous and locals coming together provides economies of scale and means that works can be done more cheaply. Also as government policy and targets now requires electricity supply companies eg Electric Ireland, SSE Airtricity to encourage customers towards implementing energy efficiency measures in their homes, participation in the Better Energy Community Scheme could attract some funding also from these companies.'
She added that participation in the Better Energy Community Scheme by Crossmolina would result in considerable benefits to the community. The general rule of thumb is that works undertaken pay for themselves within five years resulting in cheaper energy costs for communities, in lower carbon emissions and in local employment for tradesmen. The scheme also allows for the appointment of a project manager.
'However any project cannot proceed without the support and endorsement of the local community and business. She complimented Padraic Lynn, Chair of Crossmolina Community Development Committee, his predecessor Siobhan Gough and all who have maintained an interest in getting a project moving in Crossmolina over the past few years.
“There is a golden opportunity for Crossmolina to get on board, lead the way in Mayo and reap the benefits of energy efficiency locally. There is work to be done to realise this and the Community Development Committee have my full support in their endeavours. Also I know from having raised the matter with Peter Hynes, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council and Enda Casey at the Mayo local enterprise office that the Council will assist in whatever way it can,” concluded Deputy Mulherin.