Munster Joinery Case Study
About Munster Joinery
Munster Joinery was established in Ballydesmond, Co. Cork in 1973 and today it is one of Ireland’s leading manufacturers of energy efficient windows and doors. The company supplies both the Irish and UK markets.
Munster Joinery project: RTÉ Six One News – Cork Company Taps Into Wind Reserves
The background to the project
Prior to the installation of the on-site wind energy project, Munster Joinery’s primary energy source was the ESB electricity supply. Munster Joinery’s annual energy consumption was in the region of 26 GW hours.
In 2006 Munster Joinery undertook a review of their energy costs. In the light of rising oil and gas prices and the likely introduction of carbon taxes, the company decided to examine means of hedging their future energy costs and simultaneously reducing their carbon emissions.
Together with Wind Energy Direct the company examined the option of wind energy autoproduction i.e. installing wind turbines on-site primarily for on-site energy consumption.
Scoping the project
The following steps were undertaken to assess the viability of the wind autoproduction project:
- Show stopper review (2 weeks duration)
- Feasibility study (6 weeks duration*)
- Wind analysis (12 months duration*)
- Planning (3 – 9 months duration*)
- Geotechnical study
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Noise study
- Visual impact and landscape study
- Geology and hydrology study
- Archaeological study
- Electromagnetic effects
- Assessments of Cork and Kerry development plans
- Ecology study, including assessments of impact on:
- Special protected areas
- Special areas of conservation
- Birds and bats
*Some of these stages can occur simultaneously
At each stage the project was deemed viable and progressed onto the next stage
Exporting to the grid
A grid application was applied for as part of the Gate 2 Group Processing Scheme and the connection was granted in 2008. When electricity is not used on-site at the Munster Joinery plant, the power can be exported to the grid. WED have expert knowledge concerning the regulations relating to the exporting and importing of electricity. Due to a recent decision by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) a gate application will not be needed for most new autoproduction projects.
Total project costs
The total project costs were €6m. This included all planning, purchasing and construction costs of the turbines.
Projected energy savings for Munster Joinery
The estimated energy cost savings for Munster Joinery will be in excess of €1 million over the next five years. The 4 MW installation will also displace over 9,000 tonnes of carbon per annum.
Support from The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland recognised the importance of this project as a technology demonstrator for all autoproduction projects in Ireland and supported this project through the provision of a €1 million grant.
The benefits, both financial and environmental, gained from Munster Joinery’s installation of wind turbines are considerable. On an annual basis this on-site wind energy project will provide Munster Joinery with up to 30% of their total energy requirements. The project will save Munster Joinery in excess of €1m in energy costs over the next five years and will reduce its carbon emissions by 9,000 tonnes per annum. This investment in on-site wind energy will make it the industry leader in reducing carbon emissions and will significantly improve the competitiveness of the company through reduced electricity costs.
Wind Energy Direct is providing Munster Joinery with a true hedge against future energy price increases.
Wind Energy Direct is a Wind Energy company with Irish offices based in Limerick and UK offices in Edinburgh and Durham. Wind Energy Direct specialises in installing wind turbines on business and industrial sites throughout Ireland and the UK.