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Hibernia REIT Looks to the Future With Rooftop Solar

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Hibernia REIT Looks to the Future With Rooftop Solar

Hibernia REIT Looks to the Future With Rooftop Solar
July 11
09:40 2019

Hibernia REIT has partnered with leading design, manufacturing and installation firms to add 44 solar panels to the top of 1 Windmill Lane (1WML) in Dublin’s south docks. The addition of the photovoltaic (PV) system is the latest in a long-running commitment to sustainability for Hibernia. 1WML is LEED Gold certified, achieving this Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design upon its completion in 2017.

The PV installation at 1WML will be the first of many to be rolled out across the entire portfolio of premium, Grade A office space in the capital.

The system, with a life-cycle of 25 years, was installed by the Fermanagh-based Eco Systems Direct with panels supplied by Kingspan. The project was overseen by design firm BDP. The system will have a positive environmental impact, and be an asset to both owner and tenant:

  • The CO2 displaced by the PV system over its lifetime is equivalent to saving 2,000 trees or in other words is equivalent to the 1WML floor area being planted as a forest.
  • The annual yield will reduce the lighting bill in 1WML by up to 50% (based on typical annual office hours 8am-6pm)
  • The PV system will generate enough power at peak condition to offset all of the energy used to light communal areas of the 1WML office building.

Hibernia took the decision to begin the installation of PV following the announcement of household solar grants in 2018 and calls for these to be extended to businesses. They commissioned BDP to undertake a study of the potential use of Solar PV across Hibernia’s portfolio of properties. Hibernia’s actions come as the Government have announced the Climate Action Plan to Tackle Climate Breakdown. The new plan includes measures to generate electricity from renewable sources, of which installations like the one now operational on 1WML will be key for the future.

John Cairns, Property Asset Manager with Hibernia REIT, described the new system as a ‘perfect fit’ for the company: “We design our buildings with sustainability in mind, but that doesn’t stop once construction is completed and our tenants move in. When BDP came to us in early 2018 and explained that the new household solar grants could well be extended to include commercial premises in the coming years, we both agreed that waiting wasn’t an option. We take sustainability and our carbon footprint seriously and were keen to push on with the installation. We also welcome the latest climate action initiatives from Government, and look forward to how these can be applied to the commercial property sector.”

Patrick Kavanagh, from BDP Ireland, had this to say on the project: “For over two years BDP and Hibernia REIT have been exploring options for reducing the existing portfolios carbon footprint through a wide range of measures from replacing plant and improving control strategies to the installation of on-site renewables like this solar project in 1WML. With the growing ‘green wave’ impacting the European and Council elections last month it’s clear that sustainability issues are on the agenda in Ireland more than ever. Hibernia REIT is paving the way forward for others to follow.”

Tenants who will benefit from the new PV installation include Core Media and Informatica. Hibernia REIT are actively looking at other sites in their portfolio where a similar system could be installed, further reducing their carbon footprint.

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