Something went wrong with the connection!

Manufacturing & Supply Chain

Winners of the 2020 SEAI Energy Awards announced

 Breaking News

Winners of the 2020 SEAI Energy Awards announced

Winners of the 2020 SEAI Energy Awards announced
October 29
10:09 2020
Spread the love

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has announced the winners of the 2020 SEAI Energy Awards during an online awards ceremony which saw pharmaceutical company, Astellas Ireland take home the top prize for Energy Team of the Year.

Astellas manufactures pharmaceutical products for the global market from its Killorglin facility in County Kerry. The Energy Management Team at the Kerry plant work in conjunction with senior management and all employees to continuously improve energy performance on site. Over the last three years the team has achieved an energy reduction of 15% and delivered almost 20 projects each year.

A total of ten awards were presented to individuals, businesses, communities, and public sector organisations in recognition of their commitment and dedication to sustainable energy and climate action. The online awards ceremony was hosted by broadcast journalist, Andrea Gilligan, who was joined by Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD for a special interview.

Commenting on the leadership shown by all the finalists and winners, Minister Ryan said: “The SEAI Energy Awards celebrate success, leadership and ambition in sustainable energy. I believe Ireland’s energy transition is going to be good for us as a country and our people are going to be good at it. We have real skills and capabilities and it starts with everyone in their own way making change, demanding change and delivering it. I congratulate those participating in the SEAI Energy Awards who are committed to the change that’s needed and are already helping to create a cleaner energy future.”

SEAI received 124 entries to the 2020 SEAI Energy Awards with projects delivering combined energy savings of €42 million. William Walsh, CEO of SEAI, said: “Despite the significant challenges this year, the volume and quality of entries reflects an unwavering commitment of individuals, and organisations to sustainable energy and climate action. The next decade will demand accelerated and significant change in every part of our society to reduce our carbon emissions. SEAI will support those who want to take such action. The commitment shown by each of our finalists is hugely inspiring and now we want others to see how they too can benefit from sustainable energy.”

Seamus Hoyne (pictured above) was also honoured during the online ceremony with the Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Energy Award. Seamus Hoyne has been involved in research and development in the energy sector since the nineties and has participated in over 25 EU funded research projects. From 1998 to 2012 he was the Managing Director of Tipperary Energy Agency. He currently leads the Development Unit at Limerick Institute of Technology and is the Principle Investigator for the Centre for Energy Efficiency and Deep Decarbonisation which is focused on supporting communities, enterprises, and industry to develop and engage in sustainable practices and processes.

Commenting on his win Seamus Hoyne said: “I am incredibly honoured to win this Award from SEAI. I am accepting it on behalf of the great teams of people I have worked with on the energy transition in Tipperary, Ireland and across Europe. It’s been exciting to see the changes over the last number of years, where energy policy is being aligned with investment and funding into the sustainable energy sector and now society is also responding.”

Fifth year student at Loreto Abbey Dalkey in Dublin, Jessica Kelly, received the Emerging Sustainable Energy Champion Award following a public call for nominations from SEAI. Ms Kelly was nominated by Dalkey Tidy Towns. She is a Green Schools member and has a keen interest in the environment and sustainable energy. She attended the RTÉ Youth Assembly in 2019 and attended the Youth Saving Our Seas Conference in Malta for her work cleaning local beaches.

Upon receiving her award, Jessica Kelly said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have won the Emerging Sustainable Energy Champion Award. It is genuinely such a surprise, but I am absolutely over the moon, I’m honoured, and I hope that I can do it justice by continuing to be an advocate for the environment within my community.  I would like to see people re-evaluate and reassess how we travel. We have a golden opportunity to think about how we can cut the environmental costs of our journeys, even if that just means walking, cycling, sharing lifts or even just doubling up some of our journeys to make the most of our resources.”

Other 2020 SEAI Energy Award winners include; Danone Wexford (Large Business – Exemplary Energy Management); Terra Spirits & Liqueurs, Cavan (SME – Exemplary Energy Management); Dublin City Council (Public Sector – Energy Leadership); Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community (Inspirational Energy Community); NUI Galway (Excellence in Energy Research and Innovation); SSE Airtricity Energy Services (Energy in Buildings); and Green Generation, Kildare (Innovative Deployment of Renewable Energy).

2020 SEAI Energy Award Winners

Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Energy Winner: Seamus Hoyne

Seamus Hoyne has been involved in R&D in the energy sector since the nineties. From 1998 to 2012 he was the Managing Director of the Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA) and grew the organisation to one of the leading Energy Agencies in Ireland and Europe. He is now the Chair of TEA. He has been involved in over 25 EU funded R&D Projects including the 5 year EU CONCERTO Project SERVE, which saw an investment of over €10million in sustainable energy in North Tipperary.

In 2017 he was appointed as Development and Public Engagement Manager within Limerick IT. He now leads the Development Unit there. He is the Principle Investigator for the Centre for Energy Efficiency and Deep Decarbonisation which is focused on supporting communities, enterprises, and industry to develop and engage in sustainable practices and processes. He has recently secured €7.5m to establish a Digital Academy for Sustainable Built Environment to scale up delivery of education on energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable construction.

Emerging Sustainable Energy Champion Winner: Jessica Kelly

We are seeing some inspiring young leaders shine through in their determination and work to deliver positive climate action. This year’s SEAI Emerging Sustainable Energy Champion, Jessica Kelly, is a fifth-year student at Loreto Dalkey, Dublin. Her keen interest in the environment especially in sustainable energy, along with being a Green Schools member made her a prime candidate for this award. Not only has she attended the RTÉ Youth assembly, she was also invited to a conference in Malta due to work she has done in her community.  This student has a bright future and is a real champion of sustainable energy.

Energy Team of the Year Winner: Astellas Ireland

Astellas Ireland (AICL) Kerry Plant is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, manufacturing a range of medicinal treatments. These are supplied globally from the Killorglin facility in Co. Kerry. The Astellas Kerry Energy Management team works in conjunction with employees and senior management, to continuously improve energy performance onsite Over the past three years, the team has delivered an energy reduction of 15% by lowering energy use, reducing the carbon footprint and increasing renewable energy integration. This supports the site’s approach to the mitigation of climate change. The Astellas team are also actively engaged with the local community through supporting and sponsoring local school initiatives and participating in the Tidy Towns.

Large Business – Exemplary Energy Management Winner: Danone Wexford

Danone Wexford sustainably manufactures high quality infant formula. The site produces leading brands like Aptamil, Cow & Gate and Nutrition for consumers in 41 countries around the world. Danone Wexford is the first Danone Specialised Nutrition factory to achieve certification to the latest ISO 50001:2018 standard. Over the past 10 years the site has invested €10 million to transform itself into a carbon neutral facility whilst doubling production volumes and delivering energy savings of 35%. Through Project Vulcan – Danone Wexford was a key stakeholder involved in developing a sustainable local woodchip producer group in the South East of Ireland. With Danone’s support, this project created many local jobs and now supports over 400 farm families and small forestry owners. Danone also committed to purchase the wood fuel providing a stable demand from the start. Danone Wexford is the first infant formula production plant in the world to be certified carbon neutral.

Small and Medium Business – Exemplary Energy Management Winner: Terra Spirits & Liqueurs

Terra Spirits & Liqueurs located in Bailieboro, Co. Cavan is Ireland’s largest family owned producer of Irish Cream Liqueurs which are exported to over 60 markets worldwide. In recent years, Terra has invested significantly in energy efficiency and decarbonisation and has reduced energy consumption by 20%. Projects delivered include; two phases of solar photovoltaics, heat pump installation, wastewater reduction, heat recovery and the transition from oil to Bio LPG. Terra recognise the combined benefits of reducing the site’s environmental impact through energy reduction measures whilst delivering cost reduction, quality improvement and overall customer appreciation. Terra Spirits & Liqueurs have definite plans to continue the sustainable culture in the organisation long into the future.

Public Sector- Energy Leadership Winner: Dublin City Council

Dublin City Council (DCC) is the largest Local Authority in the country. Employing 6000 staff, the Council delivers over 500 services to the people living, working and visiting Dublin city. There is extraordinary support from the Senior Management team to address the 5 key Climate Action Areas, which include: Energy and Buildings, Transport, Flood, Nature and Resource. DCC has delivered energy savings of 34% since beginning its energy journey.  It has used innovative contracts to achieve its objectives, exhibiting to other public bodies what can be achieved through replication and coordination. The Council recognises the multiple benefits of energy efficiency such as alleviating energy poverty in social housing and, through sustainable urban mobility plans, improving the air quality in the city.

Inspiration Energy Community Winner: Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community

Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community is a very well-established and professional organisation who is providing end-to-end service from education on energy efficiency and renewable energy, to administration of grant applications, and coordinatinating upgrades. This community has made a real impact on energy use in Dunleer with over 200 premises significantly upgraded.  It has also provided a one-stop-shop type retrofit model by bringing together the different community partners for successful projects, including technical, educational and financial. The experiences gained by this community have been shared with others to support their energy journey.

Excellence in Energy Research and Innovation Winner: National University of Ireland, Galway

NUI Galway has a leading international reputation in research and technology development. The VorTech research team, based within Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering & Science, is part of the Ryan Institute, NUI Galway. The team works primarily within the strategic research priority area of “Environment, Marine and Energy” with a focus on water and wastewater engineering, sustainability and technology development. The VorTech technology (Vortex Powered Aerator – VPA) aims to revolutionise the energy intensive aeration process within wastewater treatment plants. The team demonstrated the technology in practice, leading to 30% energy recovery. A spin-out company has been formed, VorTech Water Solutions, and aims to deliver energy savings at wastewater treatment plants both in Ireland and at international level.

Energy in Buildings Winner: SSE Airtricity Energy Services

SSE Airtricity Energy Services is a leader in building energy upgrades with considerable experience in energy efficiency technologies such as external wall insulation, energy efficient windows and doors, heat pumps, energy efficient boilers, airtightness and ventilation, solar PV systems, battery systems and electric vehicle charging points. Moyola Court in South Dublin consists of two rows of terraced houses owned by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. These houses were built in the 1970’s and were in poor condition when SSE were approached to do the deep retrofit refurbishment works. Supported under the SEAI Deep Retrofit programme for the installation of innovative heating technologies, advanced insulation, and renewable generation and storage resulted in these inefficient units to become some of the most efficient and comfortable in the country. The BER ratings improved from G to A3 which had a hugely positive impact on the residents.

Innovative Deployment of Renewable Energy Winner: Green Generation Ltd

Green Generation is a Kildare-based company, using anaerobic digestion to convert agricultural and food waste to renewable energy. Green Generation harnesses natural microbial activity to break down organic waste into biogas and an organic fertiliser by-product. Half of the biogas is used to produce renewable electricity which is sent to the national grid. The rest is upgraded to “biomethane” which is injected into the natural gas grid. Unsold food from Tesco is fed to the Anaerobic Digester, and the biogas generated is sold back to Tesco for use in their stores. The plastic packaging from the food is processed to manufacture durable plastic products, using ‘waste’ heat from electricity generation and finally the digestate from the process is once again used as fertiliser to grow food. This is an excellent example of the circular economy in practice.

For full details on all winning projects, visit

About Author



Related Articles

Follow me on Twitter


New Subscriber

    Subscribe Here


    National Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition 2020

    NIBRT Springboard Success Stories