Gurteen College boasts some great green credentials:
Gurteen College has installed a 50 kilowatt wind turbine beside its main campus. Manufactured in Canada, supplied and constructed by Renewable Energy Systems, the turbine should supply much of the College’s electricity needs. The project was grant aided by Sustainable Energy Ireland and generously co-funded by the Julia Trench Trust.
Other energy efficiency projects are being planned at the moment including biomass fuelled heating systems and use of insulation to reduce fuel use. It is hoped that within 2 years the College will have reduced its total energy usage by at least 50%.
Wood Chip Boilers and Willow
In September 2010 the College installed a totally new heating system, based on two high efficiency wood chip boilers.
15 hectares of willow was planted to provide fuel for the system. To minimise risk of losses due to disease, different varieties of willow were planted in adjacent plots, by autumn 2010 many of the plants had exceeded 2 metres in height.
In February 2011 a new 270 metre sq. drying floor was installed within the farm building complex in readiness for the future harvested chipped willow, which will be reduced to 55% moisture to 25% in the process, the plant also has been of great use drying corn and hay.
It is envisaged that harvesting will be every 2 years if yields are satisfactory.