18/06/2002

Tyrone wind blows in £15 million power deal

Energia, Ireland’s largest independent electricity supplier, recently announced the signing of a contract worth £15 million to buy energy from a wind farm in County Tyrone.

Energia has contracted with the two leading renewable energy companies, Antrim-based B9 and Renewable Energy Systems of Hertfordshire to purchase the output from a 7.26 MW extension to an existing wind farm at Lendrum’s Bridge, Fivemiletown in Co. Tyrone. This will be capable of supplying the annual electricity requirements of approximately 5,500 households.

John Mawhinney, Head of Sales & Marketing, Energia said: “Energia have consistently been at the forefront of the newly developing energy markets throughout Ireland. We are delighted to be the first independent energy supply company to contract for the output from a Northern Ireland wind farm which will ultimately mean customers will have a wider choice of generation sources at competitive prices”

B9 Energy, RES and Energia are building the wind project now to facilitate the need for future customer choice and in anticipation of the introduction to Northern Ireland of a 'Renewables Obligation' similar to that which came into force at the beginning April for England, Scotland and Wales. The Renewables Obligation will be underpinned by a substantial package of direct financial support worth more £260 million over the next three years.

Michael Harper, Managing Director of B9 Energy Services, said: “Northern Ireland needs renewable energy. The best way to achieve this at lowest cost to the consumer is through competitive market mechanisms like the Renewables Obligation. This project is the first of several in development that will be ready for the introduction to Northern Ireland of the Renewables Obligation.”

The Enterprise Trade and Investment Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly recently recommended that a similar Renewables Obligation be introduced as a means of enabling Northern Ireland to meet its renewable energy targets.

The project will comprise 11 turbines giving a total installed capacity of 7.26 MW. It is estimated that the project will result in the saving of approximately 290,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the contract.

Construction of the extension will begin this summer with completion due at the beginning of 2003.

Energia is part of the Viridian Group and is the largest independent supplier of electricity in Ireland. B9 Energy Services, based in Co. Antrim, and Renewable Energy Systems of St. Albans in England have jointly developed five wind energy projects in Northern Ireland and three in Ireland.

They currently have projects under development in Northern Ireland totalling more than 100 million euros.

(SP)

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