On Thursday last, the Ecovillage in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary launched the second phase of the project. This phase sees the opening of the EcoHostel, the construction of the Eco-Enterprise Centre and the switching on of the Solar Park. The launch also marked the planting of 17,000 trees in the community woodland. In addition, 30 houses are under construction, a dozen more are set to go and a further five sites were sold this year.
“The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) says we are one of the biggest construction sites in rural Ireland. We may be the only one,” joked David Flannery from Sustainable Projects Ireland, the charity overseeing the development of the ecovillage. The solar park was funded with a €700,000 grant from the European Commission. It will provide 80 per cent of heating and hot water in sunny weather and 20 per cent when it is gloomy. The rest will come from the woodchip boiler on site. It is anticipated the cost of hot water and heat to each home will be €22 a month.