Assured Asset Energy Ltd (AAE) today launched a new £27 million fund to finance up to 30 new on farm renewable energy projects and create 180 construction jobs in Northern Ireland. The new plants will generate clean renewable energy for up to 5,000 homes across the region.
The Northern Ireland farming community, who have struggled due to the challenging economic climate, have the opportunity to avail of funding under the new project. The plants will process up to 450,000 tonnes of farm waste annually to produce biogas and generate up to 8.5MW of green electricity for connection and sale onto the Northern Ireland grid – enough to power up to 5,000 homes.
This fund will be invaluable in helping to deliver 40% of Northern Ireland’s energy consumption targets from renewable sources by 2020, as set out in the Strategic Energy Framework for Northern Ireland 2010. It will also bring the region in line with England and Wales, where there are almost 100 Anaerobic Digestion plants, compared with just 8 in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the launch event at the Stormont Hotel, Belfast, Director at Assured Asset Energy Ltd Alex Colombini said: “We’re very excited to be launching this fund that will be of great benefit to local farmers and will help Northern Ireland reduce its carbon footprint. We encourage farmers who have the capacity to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan, who officially launched the fund said: “Renewable energy really is a win-win – a win for the environment and the economy.
“This fund will help more farmers to seize the benefits of this renewable technology which can help them make savings and reduce running costs in the longer term. Anaerobic digesters can also assist in reducing carbon emissions and help meet Executive Renewable Energy targets.
“I am a strong supporter of renewable energy and believe that initiatives such as this will be a welcome boost for the rural economy.”