Energia signs £34m greener electricity deal with NI Water
NI Water has awarded a £34m electricity contract to energy giant Energia in one of the biggest deals entered into by the Government-owned company.
The water business, which is Northern Ireland's biggest user of electricity, said the deal with Energia would mean that it would be buying more renewable energy than ever before.
As a result of the deal with Ireland-wide Energia, 43% of NI Water's electricity will be coming from certified renewable resources.
NI Water said it spent around £120m a year on contracts for goods and services.
Former electricity suppliers include Cookstown-based GO Power, which supplied NI Water for two years from August 2015.
The deal was announced as the Department for the Economy revealed that the Executive's target for 40% of its electricity consumption to come from renewable sources by 2020 has already been surpassed, reaching 44% over the last year.
Alistair Jinks, director of business services with NI Water, said: "This is one of NI Water's largest contracts in terms of annual revenue expenditure.
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"We are confident the terms will provide excellent value for money for NI Water while meeting our environmental target of sourcing 40% renewable electricity generation by 2020."
Mr Jinks said NI Water had further ambitions to reduce its energy consumption, with aims including self-generating more renewable energy on its sites and buying more energy from local renewable projects.
He added: "The contract is key in helping NI Water to cut the greenhouse gases it emits in using energy to produce and distribute clean water, as well as to treat and dispose of waste water safely.
"It is often a surprise to people that NI Water is the largest consumer of electricity.
"However, with water mains and sewers measuring longer than our entire road network and thousands of assets to maintain, electricity is an essential component of our provision of water and waste water services throughout Northern Ireland."
NI Water said the Energia deal was one of over 400 goods and services contracts overseen by NI Water's operation procurement team.
Energia Group also owns supplier Power NI. It rebranded from Viridian in May this year.