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4th July 2017: €1.8M FOR WIT’S TSSG TO DEVELOP SMART GRID FOR FISHERIES INDUSTRY IN IRELAND AND WALES

€1.8M FOR WIT’S TSSG TO DEVELOP SMART GRID FOR FISHERIES INDUSTRY IN IRELAND AND WALES

TSSG will be the lead investigator in a €1.8m EU funded project “piSCES” to examine risks posed by climate change on both sides of the Irish Sea.

 

Waterford Institute of Technology’s, Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) is the lead investigator in a €1.8m EU-funded project, piSCES, which will support the scientific investigation of the opportunities and risks posed by climate change on both sides of the Irish Sea. Included is the deployment of technology to reduce energy costs and help businesses develop new products and processes will be investigated within the project.

 

 Significant impact on the overall fisheries industry

The funding will be used to develop and test a new “smart grid” electricity network to help reduce energy costs for the fisheries industry in Ireland and Wales. TSSG are lead investigators on the piSCES project which will have a significant impact on the overall fisheries industry in Ireland.

The piSCES project was launched in Dublin, Wednesday 21 June and followed the operations first Steering Group meeting held at the same location. Senator Paudie Coffey formally launched the piSCES Project, which involves innovative collaboration in the smart energy sector between WIT, Cardiff University, Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the Port of Milford Haven. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme.

Climate change obligations

Sean Lyons, Tech Lead at TSSG, opened the launch proceedings by saying, “I would like to acknowledge the support of the Interreg programme which has a strong track record in supporting regional development initiatives in the past and is now supporting new technologies and knowledge transfer to help meet our climate change obligations”.

As a former Minister of State in the Department of Environment, Senator Coffey helped steer the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act through the Oireachtas in 2015.

He discussed how piSCES relates to government policy in relation to skills, the environment and the low carbon economy as he officially launched the project.

Senator Coffey said “Ireland faces huge challenges in achieving their climate change obligations to reduce our carbon emissions - innovative projects like piSCES can help us achieve carbon reductions in specific industries like the fishing sector, by delivering smart energy management systems that benefits the industry itself and delivers on tangible carbon reduction in our economy.”

Cross-sea collaboration

David Kelly, Assistant Director – EU Programmes Division of the Southern Regional Assembly also speaking at the launch said: "This project is a great example of how organisations collaborating across the Irish sea, with the support of EU Funds, can innovate together to assist SMEs address common challenges of reducing energy costs whilst also reducing their carbon footprint.”

The operation will consist of 4 partners – 2 of which will research and develop the technology and 2 implementation partners (one of each in Ireland and Wales). Waterford Institute of Technology through its ICT research division TSSG, who will lead the operation, and Cardiff University (CU) plan to research, design and develop microgrid networks in conjunction with production centres in Ireland and in Wales. The implementation partners, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) in Ireland and the Milford Haven Port Authority (MHPA) in Wales, will work with fish processors and related industry to provide live data and test sites.

The fish processing industry, by definition, is generally centred around coastal fishing ports which are remote and isolated by their nature. This imposes inherent competitive disadvantages in the market compared with other similar food producers who are located close to large urban centres. To survive, they must be innovative in their business practises improving efficiencies and controlling their cost base. Due to the nature of their business, energy costs represent a significant portion of this cost base through freezing, chilling and production processes. The energy industry is going through a paradigm shift from a unidirectional, demand driven model with large centralised power generation to a market driven by smart grid ideals where supply and demand will be balanced with variable and intermittent renewable energies in a more localised manner. This will require intelligent systems to enable the scenarios, particularly at end user level, to satisfy demand within the peaks and troughs of the market.

Learn more about the piSCES Project.