Aiming to Create an Energy Independent Region

Where IsOurPlace? Who Are We ?

Ballynagran lies in the heart of County Wicklow the ‘Garden of Ireland'.

It has a wealth of outstanding gardens and woodlands such as Deputy’s Pass, Mount Usher Gardens and Kilmacurragh Gardens and Arboreteum within its vicinity.

The Ballynagran Community has embarked on an ambitious and generous project to become an Energy Plus Community within the next fifteen years

The focus will be on energy consumption in buildings, transportation and food production.

Included within the Ballynagran Community Energy Plus Project are the Townlands that are within 3km of the area and this 'greater' area includes approximately 600 homes.

Many of the homes are located in the village of Glenealy on the western edge of the community.

 The overall mission of this project is to dramatically reduce the energy use of this rural community and eventually to create an energy independent region.

The long term objective is to produce locally a surplus of energy from renewable resources in order to create an energy independent community. Hence the logo

Rural Area - Includes approx 600 homes, 1 village, 1 school
These are the Townlands included in the Ballynagran Energy Plus Community


Get Involved!

    An area comprising approximately 3500 hectares is included in this project.

Among the townlands are:

Ashtown, Ballinaclogh, Ballinacooley,Ballinameesda Lower, Ballinameesda Upper, Ballinclare, Ballinteskin, Ballydowling, Ballyfree East, Ballygonnell, Ballykeppoge, Ballykillavane, Ballymanus Lower, Ballymerrigan, Ballymoat, Ballymoney, Ballymurrin Lower, Ballymurrin Upper, Ballynabarny, Ballynagran, Ballynerrin Upper, Bonabrocka, Carrigmore, Coolacork, Gormanstown, Hawkstown Lower, Hawkstown Upper, Kilbride, Kilcandra, Kilnamanagh Beg, Kilnamanagh More, Newtown, Roscath.

Aiming to be one of the most Energy Efficient Areas

What we are hoping to achieve with the project

Major Community benefits

This project is intended to provide stimulus for the Ballynagran energy plus area through the following benefits for the local community.

Environment – establishing an energy plus community to create a more sustainable environment.

Employment – two persons currently unemployed will be hired to carry out much of the energy audits proposed.

Health – Wicklow is a high risk radon region, and the measurement of radon will identify where remedial measures are required.

Educational – a database detailing the energy use of all houses will provide a valuable research resource.

Image and Reputation – and energy plus community will draw both national and international interest to this region.

Financial - We believe that over time the investments made in sustainable energy projects will more than pay for themselves and will be of financial benefit to the Community.

School Building Approaching Passive House Standard

Community Projects - Completed (almost)

Glenealy School

Retrofitting to Passive House Standard Completed

Kilbride Church

Retrofitting to Church completed

Gleneally Hall

Energy Upgrade and repair works currently underway

Local Houses retrofitted en masse

Community Scheme for assisting Household retrofit

Read More
Consolidate the already considerable retrofitting progress made by the Ballynagran Energy Plus Community

Consolidate the Retrofit

Support the installation of wood-burning stoves

Provide advice on external installation

Distribution of energy monitoring meters

Examine alternative solar energy solutions

Forging links with SEAI in order for members to avail of the current grants -

Details Here.

Making OurPlace a Better Place for Everybody

Community Projects - current

Solar Thermal or Photovoltaic energy generation to be studied for use in Community Buildings

Support the setting up of a Community Forest see   Community Woodland  

Commission detailed study of Wind Energy Generation Options         Local Energy Generation  

Supporting the continued retro-fitting of houses - solid fuel perhaps!

Once condemned, now part of Heritage Tourism

Community Wind Turbine - An Option

Feasibilty study completed.

Potential for wind turbine identified.

Potential Locations examined

Ideal location identified

Comprehensive public consultation will take place

Economic implications of big or small to be examined

Comparison with alternative renewable energy sources to be outlined

Actual long-term return to community to be detailed

Enhancing an already excellent and world renowned walking holiday destination
     Encouraging Zero Carbon Transport and a Healthy Habit
This is the Zero CO2e part of Transport Policy

Community Walking Trails

Outline Route planning has taken place

Alternative routes have been identified

Proposed route from Glenealy to Deputy’s Pass

Landowner permissions being sought

Compliance with legal trail requirements being prepared

Appropriate Signage being arranged

Items down on Transport Agenda:-

Electric Charging Points

Local Area Public Transport

Approaching Zero Carbon use in a Holistic Way
On Saturday Mornings from during Spring, Summer and Autumn

Food Group - Farmers Market

Established in March 2011 at the Beehive, the centre of the Ballynagran Energy Plus Community District.

Operated in line with the country market model which gives local micro producers the option of selling their produce on a commission basis.

Open during Spring, Summer and Autumn on Saturday Mornings. It is a hub for social interaction and trade in the community.

A venue for local people to engage in entrepreneurship and commerce encouraging the development of local business and trade and an ideal location to showcase local artisan producers.

Plans to offer local schools the opportunity to sell produce at the market.

Transition year students business module studies - real experience.

It is an amenity for the people of Wicklow and benefits the community.

The most fundamental element of Zero CO2e Living.

Could the local community possibly benefit from Wicklow's most abundant resource ?

Community Forest

an interesting proposition because:

Dovetails with other Ballynagran Energy⁺ Projects.

Long-term community economic development.

Community economic participation.

Local employment.

Sharing of materials & machinery.

Local-level decision making.

Educational spin-off.

Benefits the community.

A Wonderful Example of Energy Efficiency in our Community

Passive House

Tomas O'Leary, a local resident, is one of main architects of the Ballynagran Energy Plus Community.


Tomas's home was the first certified Passive House built in the English Speaking World.


Tomas is a partner in one of Irelands leading environmental design practices MosArt. The practice comprises Passive House Experts, Architects, Landscape Architects and Urban Designers.


Tomas has produced many instructional videos on energy conservation and on 21st century building technology and practices.


Cutting Edge European Research in the Garden of Ireland

Our European and Local Partners

Interreg This project could not have got off the ground without the assistance European Regional Development Funding - Interreg IVD North West Europe .

The link to the InterReg website is here InterReg IVB North-West Europe


Zecos is the name of the overall European Project in which Ballynagran, along with 7 other NW Europe Communities, is participating. Zecos stands for a Zero CO2e Emission Certification System and the Ballynagran Project is a vital part of the research in developing this Emission Certification System.

We have assembled some information about InterReg and the Zecos Project - see this link Our Partners
The link to the Zecos website is here Zecos Website

Wicklow County Council is the leading local authority in Ireland with regard to Environmental Awareness, Education and Research and their Community, Culture and Social Development Department has been particularly helpful to this project.

They have also administered additional funding through Ballynagran Environmental Community Projects and Works Grant Scheme (BECWGS).

Some additional information about the BECWGS can be accessed here. Ballynagran Grants

And the link to the Wicklow County Council website is here Wicklow County Council

The Future of this Local Funding Source is very much in doubt

How local funding has helped this Project.

Funding has been secured from Wicklow County Council in association with Greenstar Ballynagran Landfill Community Fund for the first phase of the project.

This involves completing an energy audit of every participating home in the study area, retrofitting the local primary school with Passive House Standard materials and an environmental educational programme.

The first year's effort will provide a very sound basis for subsequent phases which will see the upgrading of homes and business to significantly reduce their energy consumption.

Such works could be done by a Retrofitting Cooperative, owned and operated by the local community, providing sustainable "Green Collar" employment.

Studies into the possibility of establishing a Community Forest, a Community Allotment Scheme and a Community Wind Farm are about to begin.

The feasibility of establishing community electric-car-charging points and expanding the current walking trails are also being explored.

Education and Innovation to Improve our Environment and make OurPlace a better place

Wicklow County Campus

Immediately adjacent to the Ballynagran Energy Plus community.


Provides lifelong learning higher education programmes on a part-time basis in partnership with The Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow).


Comprises spacious offices, meeting rooms, as well as a large conference venue, classrooms, a college library and IT rooms.


Centre of Excellence for renewable energy technology and design.


Read Wicklow County Council's Strategy for the Campus.


Read Wicklow County Council's Exec-Summary- Vision for the Campus

Wicklow County Council aims to develop Wicklow County Campus as a Centre of Excellence in Enterprise, Education and Innovation in County Wicklow.

The Council's objective is that that the campus acts as a catalyst for Economic Development in the County.

The Council is committed to placing :

renewable energy technologies and sustainable design at its core with a parallel emphasis on Passive House construction and zero energy building.
Can  You Influence How this Project is Implemented?

How to get involved

If you wish to participate in the project and avail of the free energy audit, radon test, light bulbs and other community benefits, please contact us through our website

Ballynagran Energy Plus

or just click Join Your Community.

If you are already a member of this online community Join or Create a Group that interests you at Join or Create a Group


Proudly powered by WordPress and BuddyPress | Terms | Privacy   -  Copyright © 2012 - 2024     IsOurPlace  and  The Owner  -   All Rights Reserved.