Belfast Telegraph

Windfarm firm wins £63m deal

By Clare Weir

A Belfast-based firm has secured a £63m renewable energy contract.

Energia, a member of the Viridian Group, has garnered the investment for an 18-year contract to distribute 51mw generated by two new Tyrone windfarms, Crighshane and Church Hill.

Energia has contracted for 22 Enercon E70 2.3MW wind turbines and has awarded substantial civil works contracts to two local companies —Adman Civil Projects Ltd and PT McWilliams. Work is to begin immediately.

The announcement means Energia has now secured €115m (£99.2m) funding for over 100MW of renewable asset development throughout Ireland.

Arrangements are in place for the remaining funding to come from its Irish portfolio financing with RBS, Bank of Ireland and National Australia Bank.

By 2012, Energia plans to be the largest independent renewable off-taker on the island of Ireland with 740MW, around 25% of the Irish renewable market.

Peter Baillie, managing dir-ector of renewables at Energia, welcomed the news. “We are delighted to make this step change in our wind farm investment programme,” he said.

“This is really significant to the local economy and we need to take this opportunity to develop the skills locally to support this ‘new green deal’. “

Energy Minister Arlene Foster also hailed the investment by Energia. “The Strategic Energy Framework sets a challenging target of 40% of our electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020 and onshore windfarms such as those at Crighshane and Church Hill will have an important role to play in achieving this,” she said.

Energia has a 25% market share of the business electricity market on an all–island basis with over 65,000 customers. The company also supplies 30% of all gas consumed in Ireland by the country’s business gas users. Energia has offices in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Belfast and Omagh.

Belfast Telegraph