Omagh environmental consulting engineer Patrick McCaul is now recognised as a leader in green power - sustainable energy sources such as solar power - following his success in helping to create one of Ireland’s most energy efficient buildings, the Clinton International Peace Centre in Enniskillen.

The Clinton Peace Centre, part of the ambitious Higher Bridges Project, an educational complex developed by Fermanagh District Council and the University of Ulster, features the latest renewable energy technologies. Electricity and hot water are both powered by the sun using the most advanced system of fully integrated solar panels in Ireland.

The company designed the complete mechanical and electrical services at the complex, including the integrated photovoltaic system, encased in a vertical glass wall, used to generate electricity. The company also specified the roof-mounted solar water heating setup.

Patrick McCaul Environmental Consulting Engineers, which currently employs 20 people, is a company which clearly believes in practicing what it preaches, creating a green energy showcase at its own recently completed offices at Bankmore Business Park in Omagh, the development of which was supported by Invest NI.

The new offices use electricity generated by a wind turbine and solar panels; hot water is also provided by solar thermal panels, making it one of the most efficient buildings in Northern Ireland.

“Our expertise in harnessing the potential of renewable energy sources such as the sun and wind is the result of a strategic decision to position the company as a specialist in sustainability, power sources that don’t use fossil fuels and won’t run out,” said Patrick McCaul, the managing director, who formed the business in 1992.

“I saw a business opportunity in the sharpening focus of government departments and other influential bodies on sustainable energy in line with commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Kyoto Protocols.

“Our approach has been enthusiastically endorsed by the Invest NI team at Omagh. I am very happy with the services provided by the team. We’ve been helped with the construction of our new offices and in the development of IT services. In addition, we’ve benefited from participation in programmes in areas such as marketing.”

Angela Hughes, a Client Executive at Invest NI’ s Western Local Office in Omagh, commenting on Patrick McCaul Environmental Engineering Consultancy, said: “This is an entrepreneurial company which has created a niche for itself in a technology sector that is growing in importance.

“The Clinton Centre and also its work on the Millennium Forum in Derry, where it used a natural water source to create a chiller-free cooling system to save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, show innovation is at the core of this company’s business strategy.”

Among other innovative projects undertaken by the company is the use of solar panels to generate electricity - and to highlight the importance of renewable energy to students- at St Mary’s College, Irvinestown

At St Mary’s, the solar panels are linked to an electronic display board which shows students the amount of electricity generated from the sun.

The company also provided its expertise to the North and West Housing Ltd development at Steelestown , Derry, the first DTI funded roof mounted photovoltaic programme in Northern Ireland. This features 25 houses with solar panel arrays and introduces this technology to the public for the first time. Each house is grid connected having an import and export meter allowing electricity generated to be used within the house or exported to the grid.

On the Higher Bridges project in Enniskillen, the company worked alongside Maxwell Pierce Architects, Enniskillen, structural engineers Albert Fry and Company, Belfast, and VB Evans, quantity surveyors, also from Belfast in designing the project for the Fermanagh University Partnership Board.