IAN PEARSON OPENS NEW WIND FARM AND HIGHLIGHTS COMMITMENT TO RENEWABLE ENERGY

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Ian Pearson, MP, today announced an increase of 80% in Northern Ireland's renewable energy generation capacity as he opened the largest wind farm on the island of Ireland at Altahullion outside Limavady.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Ian Pearson, MP, today announced an increase of 80% in Northern Ireland's renewable energy generation capacity as he opened the largest wind farm on the island of Ireland at Altahullion outside Limavady.


Speaking at the opening ceremony in 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 Ltd (RES), and output of the wind farm has been purchased under contract by Energia, part of the Viridian Group.

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 Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment's draft 10 year Energy Strategy includes the aim to develop enough new renewable energy generation to supply 12% of our electricity 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.

"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.

"In addition, my Department, together with the Viridian Group, has supported the creation of a new taskforce called 'Action Renewables' which will carry out a baseline audit of public support for renewables, take forward essential promotional work, implement a programme of education and support communities wishing to sponsor specific renewable energy projects. Action Renewables will be formally launched in the autumn.

"I have also decided that a Renewables Obligation will best position Northern Ireland to compete for the investment required to mainstream renewables. Legislation will be introduced to implement the obligation as soon as is practicable after April 2004, and the forthcoming Energy Bill will create a UK-wide market for the trade of renewable obligation certificates from around April 2005.

"I am confident this plan of action, developed in partnership with the energy industry, will encourage everyone to rise to the challenge and succeed in helping renewables come of age."

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."

Featured Product

Seaward PV210 Solar Installation Test Kit

Seaward PV210 Solar Installation Test Kit

The Seaward Solar PV210 PV installation tester provides a highly efficient and effective test and diagnostic solution for PV systems, carrying out all commissioning tests required by IEC 62446 and performing fast and accurate measurement of I-V curves in accordance with IEC 61829. With direct connection to individual PV modules or strings using the supplied lead sets, tests can be conducted easily and within a matter of seconds at the press of a single button.