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ERNACT secures €1.4M to pilot innovative smart energy solutions

21 March 2019

The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020 has announced that they would fund the innovative ‘Smart Energy Management in Remote Northern, Peripheral and Arctic Regions’ or SMARCTIC project proposal with a total budget of €1.4 million, from which the North West of Ireland will get €730,000.

The approach proposed by SMARCTIC to improving energy efficiency is quite unique - led by public authorities but working with universities and businesses to create flexible demonstration test-beds based on applying technologies first used in a smart city setting, e.g., Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Starting in May 2019, this project will last for 3 years and will involve 11 partners from across Europe’s Northern Periphery and Arctic zone stretching from Finland through Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Iceland to Canada in North America.

 Derry City and Strabane

Derry City & Strabane District Council will develop a smart grid pilot that integrates renewable energy, battery storage and smart energy management in the form of sensors and smart meters to monitor consumption and learn from user behaviour. The Smart grid will consist of an electricity and heating network to power and heat a number of public buildings within a specific geographic boundary.  

Artificial Intelligence technology will record consumption data in conjunction with external weather conditions, energy performance of equipment, and learned user profile, to maximise energy efficiency and optimise the consumption of renewable energy produced.

Donegal

Donegal County Council will develop a smart pilot that monitors the indoor environment in all public buildings. This will consist of low power, long range, and secure connected IoT devices with geolocation features, that can penetrate dense building material to monitor municipal operations and energy usage. Visualization tools and AI will facilitate building managers to optimise indoor environments to improve conditions for workers and increase energy efficiency in local authorities.

ERNACT EEIG Chairperson, Councillor Gus Hastings, stated that this is “another example of what can be achieved by the North West Ireland city-region, working together on a cross border basis in the context of European Union Funding”. Furthermore, welcoming approval of the project, Brian Boyle, Chairperson of the European-wide ERNACT network, stated that “the success has demonstrated the continuing value to local, regional and city authorities regions working together in the vastly experienced ERNACT network to accelerate the digital transformation of their areas”.

This proposal was developed by ERNACT’s experienced project development team located in Letterkenny (Ireland) in the North West Ireland cross border city region area. Commenting on this, Colm Mc Colgan, ERNACT General Manager, stated that the team has built up excellent skills in digital transformation, knowledge of EU innovation and research funding, financial and operational management of European projects and trans-European communications.