January 16 In the Press

The clock is ticking as leading poultry farmer urges others to beat the NIE deadline

By Jayne Freer

ONE of Northern Ireland’s leading poultry farmers is urging others in the industry to beat the clock before NIE enforce new regulations which will limit how much power you can generate.

Fred Maxwell, of Maxwell Farms based in the Clogher Valley, has seen his £20,000 annual electricity bill slashed by a quarter since 84 panels were installed on his Co Tyrone farm just over a year ago.

Delighted with his £4,250 savings in the last 12 months, Mr Maxwell has taken the steps to expand his 20kW solar success on the farm, with an additional 6.5kW system on his home which is just 200 yards away.

Mr Maxwell, who has 10 poultry houses, holding 270,000 birds and each house measuring 250ft x 57ft, said solar had significantly reduced his electricity bills. He added: “It’s brilliant. You just put it up and walk away. I would say that I’ve made a saving in the last year of around £4,250 on my electricity. I am very happy with that and I am still waiting on the ROC payment which should come soon and should be around £3,000.

Mr Maxwell is keen to spread the word to other farmers and businesses encouraging them to take advantage before new regulations come into force on March 1 when NIE plans to limit connections for renewable technology installations.

From March 1, home owners, farmers, businesses and schools across the province will have to install smaller solar PV systems. Currently, it is possible for homeowners to install up to a 6.5kW system for a single installation and 20kW for a larger, three phase installation. But once new limits are introduced, homeowners will only be able to install 3.68kW systems while larger premises will be limited to 11.04kW.

Mr Maxwell fears there may be many people unaware of the changes and urged them to make the switch now. He added: “I have been telling people to do it now because if they do it later it is going to cost an arm and a leg.

“The saving is good, especially if, like me, you use a lot of electricity. I think a lot of people are looking and asking the questions, but they need to do it before March, that’s the big thing. Maybe some do not realise about the deadline.”

The new limitations will mean that people hoping to generate power on their own properties will be limited in the amount they can produce. But it does also mean that solar PV will become a lot more accessible for people wishing to invest less money for smaller systems.

Noel Gallagher, a director at Amber Green Solar, said: “It is fantastic to hear Mr Maxwell is starting to reap the rewards of making the switch to solar PV and is encouraged enough to look at installing more panels, this time on his home.

“We are now expecting a rise in the number of people seeking installations in order to beat the March 1 deadline and benefit from the larger solar PV systems.”

If you would like to find out more about beating the March 1, 2014 deadline, contact the Amber Green Solar team on 0800 122 3838. Amber Green Solar are currently taking orders to help farmers beat the deadline and make the savings.





  • AmberGreen is a trusted market leader in sustainable energy in N Ireland for small and mid sized solar, wind and heat solutions.  Providing a complete service, from consultancy through to sourcing, installation and after-care, the company uses only proven technologies, ensuring excellent returns on investments from sustainable power and heat generation.  AmberGreen helps clients navigate green energy legislation and access to the financial support measures that exist.  AmberGreen is proud to be putting control back into the hands of homes and businesses across the country to address and future-proof rising energy costs.
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