In March 2017, Project Gencomm secured Interreg North-West Europe funding of €9.3 million for a 3 year project. Project GenComm - GENerating energy secure COMMunities, comprises 10 Strategic Partners across the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and Ireland, with Belfast Met being the Lead Partner and 23 Associate Partners. Louth County Council is an associate partner in this project. Gencomm aims to answer the energy sustainability challenges facing remote communities across NE Europe through production and storage of renewable hydrogen.
Gencomm will develop 3 pilot facilities fuelled by Solar Power, Wind Power and Bioenergy to measure their ability to produce and store hydrogen, together with its viability as a sustainable energy solution for heat, power and fuel for remote communities across NW Europe. The hydrogen produced will be used to create power, heat and for use in transportation (both as a fuel and for fuel cells in batteries). Data from the 3 pilot sites will create a model, which will be used to create a web portal for the end user to assist in better energy planning in order to assure energy sustainability, autonomy and competitiveness.
A distinct difference in this project is that hydrogen will be produced from curtailed and restrained renewables i.e. when the grid is experiencing an overproduction. This excess electricity, rather than being wasted will be converted into hydrogen and stored remotely to be used for power, heat and transportation fuel. The hydrogen is stored in tanks and therefore no grid connection is required for use of this, making it a portable source of energy to serve remote communities or hydrogen vehicles.
Role of Louth County Council
As an Associate Partner Louth County Council is expected to technically supporting the communications and dissemination work package, support the development and utilise the Decision Support Tool (DST) and its roll out activities. This is fundamental for the development, validation and divulgation of the activities within the project. All associated partners are expected to become ambassadors of the project within their network, hence improving the perspectives of hydrogen based renewably powered energy matrixes in their regions and across NWE communities. At the end of the project, associated partners will be invited to be the first users of the DST and to try to incorporate its results, when possible, to their main activities. Once the project has concluded, associated partners and partners will also be integrated in a GENCOMM association that continues to present the results of both, the DST and the pilot plants.
Strategic Aims of Louth County Council from the Gencomm Project
As Associate Partner Louth County Council will have access to the latest technologies and developments within the low carbon economy and as such will assist the development of a robust long term strategy for the region for reducing dependence on fossil fuels and delivering energy security.
Participation in GenComm will inform Louth County Council policy and ensure the region stays ahead of the low carbon innovation curve whilst identifying renewable energy supply chain opportunities for local business.
- Louth County Council’s participation as an Associate Partner in the Gencomm project will reinforce the region’s position and reputation as a leader in this area and emphasise the pivotal role County Louth has on the Dublin-Belfast low carbon highway.
Benefits to Louth County Council as an Associate Partner
- Louth County Council (LCC) will develop external international links and collaboration with key energy stakeholders through its role as Associate Partner in GenComm
- The Council will be at the forefront of supporting the renewable energy sector, developing stronger partnerships internationally and internationally and in meeting the innovation and knowledge needs of this sector, through the work of the Gencomm project
- GenComm project will position the east border region as a specialist centre of excellence in renewables, energy storage and carbon reduction
- LCC will harness the the opportunity to enhance and develop international partnerships and collaborative opportunities through the Gencomm project
- LCC will gain full exposure and access to all results, papers, documentation for the project.
- Provide staff with skills and experiences participating in a European multi agency/disciplinary project
- Broaden the skill sets and contacts for all partner and associate partner staff,
- Provide LCC with the opportunity to be part of a project which will assist in the development of leading world class skills in Energy Storage, Renewables, Carbon Reduction, Sustainable Energy
- Contribute and enhance County Louth’s reputation as a Smart City, in accordance with the LEF action Plan
- Provide the opportunity for LCC ‘s Sustainable Energy Team to acquire the learning’s with regard to hydrogen fuelled vehicles. The energy team will then act as the link with local transportation providers to assist them in their development in providing alternative, cleaner fuel sourced vehicles, thereby assisting in the fulfilment of a key objective of the LEF , to assist local businesses become more competitive through the provision of energy efficiency training and supports
For more information on Project Gencomm visit http://www.nweurope.eu/projects/project-search/gencomm-generating-energy-secure-communities/