February 13 In the Press

Farm business owners and horticultural companies urged to modernise farms with ROCs

By Eleanor McGillie

AMBER Green Energy, a leading renewable energy provider in Northern Ireland, is urging farmers and horticultural businesses with barns, factories and warehouses across the province to consider the new levels of support for solar energy announced by the Energy Minister Arlene Foster.

The minister announced that from April 1 this year, new levels of support are designed to incentivise larger solar photovoltaic stations, under the Renewables Obligation Certificate, for building mounted solar projects.

Many farmers across Northern Ireland have already taken steps to modernise their buildings by installing Amber green Solar photovoltaic systems, which convert sunlight into renewable, clean energy.

Dwyer O’Neill, chief executive of Amber Green Energy, said the company has been dealing with an increase in volume of enquiries from farmers who are recognising the importance of solar PV installations.

Mr O’Neill said: “Last month we hosted a very successful event in Co Tyrone where over 150 farmers gathered to hear about the latest technologies available for solar PV. The event was so successful we are planning to host another one in response to feedback from farmers.

“Farm modernisation is being seriously considered by hundreds of farmers, most notably in the poultry and dairy sectors, but it is vital all farmers have access to the most up to date information available.

“The tremendous numbers at our last event demonstrated to us how strong farmers feel about embracing greener solutions and how important it was for farmers to be able to speak face to face with our staff and our partners such as law firm Tughans, planning consultants Clyde Shanks, Siac Wind Energy, Conergy and Vision Design to name a few.

“We greatly welcome any support the Government provides to help farmers reduce their energy costs but also providing them with the opportunity to generate an income. We all have a role to play in helping Northern Ireland meet its targets in reducing its carbon footprint.”

Last year, Amber Green Solar, a subsidiary of Amber Green Energy, installed a 20kw system operating 84 solar panels on chicken houses belonging to one of Northern Ireland’s best known  poultry farmers, Fred Maxwell.

Mr Maxwell took the step to modernise his farm to reduce his electricity bill. He plans to install a further 30kw system which will see his annual electricity bill cut from £20,000 to £10,000 and has taken a leading role in encouraging other farmers to do the same.

Mr Maxwell, who attended the Amber Green Solar event took the opportunity to address the floor and told the audience that he had calculated his payback to be as little as ‘three years” due to efficiencies in the installation and current levels of subsidy.

Announcing the new levels of support, Energy Minister, Arlene Foster said: “In response to the recent consultation on the NIRO, support for larger solar projects will be split into two new bands – building-mounted and ground-mounted.

“The introduction of a specific banding level for building-mounted solar projects will create opportunities for factories and warehouses to consider solar technology as a way of generating their own power requirements.

“The additional six month eligibility period for new large scale biomass CHP stations, which retains support at the current ROC level until September 30, 2015, provides certainty for investors in a technology which offers great potential in Northern Ireland.”

The Minister also said existing support levels for a number of small-scale technologies will remain unchanged until April 1, 2015.

She said: “It is important that support levels are reviewed to ensure value for money for the bill payer but, equally, it is imperative that investors know when changes will be introduced.”

Any farmers wishing to register an interest in the next event hosted by Amber Green Solar can do so by calling 028 9073 9076 or by emailing  info@ambergreensolar.co.uk


For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 PR Public Relations Northern Ireland | PR Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Experts | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK

Notes To Editor:

  • Amber Green Energy is an industry leader in green energy solutions in Northern Ireland. The company has bases in Armagh and Belfast. It adopts a dynamic approach to project funding, combined with proven technologies, ensures excellent returns on investments from renewable, sustainable power generation. Amber Green helps clients navigate green energy legislation and access to sustainable energy revenues. Amber Green Energy helps clients with the planning and design of sustainable green energy technologies for anaerobic digestion, wind power generation, combined heat and power and solar panels – photovoltaics. Amber Green Solar is a subsidiary of Amber Green Energy.

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