Wind farm underscores commitment to renewable energy

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Ian Pearson, has announced an increase of 80% in Northern Ireland’s renewable energy generation capacity.

Speaking at the opening opened of the largest wind farm on the island of Ireland located at Altahullion outside Limavady, Mr Pearson said: “Today is a very significant day in the development of renewable energy in Northern Ireland. This wind farm will generate 26 megawatts of energy – that’s enough electricity for around 20,000 homes.”

The project was developed by Larne-based B9 Energy and Renewable Energy Systems (RES), and the output of the wind farm has been purchased under a contract by Energia.

Mr Pearson said: “We have made huge strides since the installation of the first wind turbine in Northern Ireland in 1991, and Government is determined to support the development of a truly sustainable energy system for Northern Ireland – in sensible locations that are sensitive to the needs of the local and wider community.”

The Minister said that the DETI’s draft 10-year Energy Strategy included the aim to develop sufficient renewable energy generation to supply 12% of the electricity requirements by 2012.

“Consultation on this strategy ends today, and while it will take some time to complete the analysis of responses, a preliminary review of the feedback indicates significant support for this target,” he said.

“Government and industry must build on the achievements of the last 10 years and work together to build capacity in Northern Ireland. The publication today of the Network Study and the Tidal Stream report are an important part of the process to determine what level of renewable generation is attainable in Northern Ireland and at what cost.

Mr Pearson concluded: “This exciting development at Altahullion demonstrates what can be achieved with the support of the local community and an appropriate market place. I congratulate B9 Energy, RES and Energia for taking the courageous step of being the first to move into the emerging market for renewables. Today’s opening marks an important step on the road to developing a truly sustainable energy system for Northern Ireland.”


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