The Electric Storage Company Wins “House/Building Initiative of the Year” at All Ireland Sustainability Awards for ‘Project Girona’
Published on:October 10, 2023

The Electric Storage Company is proud to announce that we have been honoured with the prestigious “House/Building Initiative of the Year” award at the All-Ireland Sustainability Awards, held at the Europa Hotel, Belfast, on 5th October. This recognition celebrates the outstanding success of ‘Project Girona,’ a groundbreaking collaboration between The Electric Storage Company, Girona Energy Limited, and Grants Electrical Services Limited.


‘Project Girona’ stands as a shining example of innovation, sustainability, and community empowerment. Designed to demonstrate the potential benefits of Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES), this initiative brought cheaper, smarter, and greener electricity to homes and communities in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. Funded in part by Innovate UK, this ambitious endeavour showcased the transformative power of renewable energy and smart technology.


Key Highlights of ‘Project Girona’:


Smart Grid Revolution: ‘Project Girona’ marked the inception of Northern Ireland’s first smart electricity grid. Through meticulous planning and execution, battery storage, and solar panels were installed on properties within the identified area, providing residents with clean energy solutions free of charge.


Renewable Energy: Solar panels played a pivotal role as the primary renewable energy source for the project. Each participating property underwent a thorough assessment to tailor solar PV and storage battery solutions to their specific needs.


Community Engagement: The Electric Storage Company’s project team worked closely with various stakeholders, including social housing providers like the Housing Executive and Choice Housing, private landlords, homeowners, and small businesses. They overcame challenges such as limited space for PV and batteries and addressed scepticism through a comprehensive communication strategy.


Empowering Social Enterprises: ‘Project Girona’ gifted batteries and solar panels in perpetuity to social enterprises, allowing them to redirect electricity cost savings towards critical community services, including food banks, community cafes, and Sure Start service provision.


Collaboration with NIEN: The project collaboratively worked with Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIEN) to assess the impacts on the network of additional generation. Innovative approaches were employed to combine power network analysis, data science, energy storage technology, and renewables generation.


Remarkable Savings: Over the course of a year, ‘Project Girona’ successfully recruited 60 homes and small businesses, resulting in a remarkable reduction of £27,000 (55% per annum) in energy costs. These savings were particularly impactful for the Ballysally Estate, known for facing multiple-deprivation challenges.


‘Project Girona’ embodies the spirit of innovation, resilience, and community welfare. It has not only contributed to addressing the Climate Emergency but has also provided relief to a community facing the challenges of the COVID pandemic, energy crisis, and the cost of living crisis.


Anne Marie McGoldrick, Director, The Electric Storage Company


“I was delighted to accept the All Ireland Sustainability Gold Award for Housing/Buildings Initiative of the year, on behalf of The Electric Storage Company. Our thanks to the team who delivered Girona and the amazing results for participants, who continue to benefit from the initiative.”