Renewable energy in focus at CAFRE event

THE upcoming renewable energy event at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) has come at a good time according to wind energy company Simple Power following the announcement of devastating farm income figures for 2012. The event takes place on Wednesday 13th February 2013 at the college’s Enniskillen Campus.

The stark 50 per cent decline in farm incomes in the last year reflects the very difficult time Northern Ireland farmers are having. Simple Power believes renewable energy offers a major opportunity for farmers to stem the decline enabling investment for the future.

The local wind energy company, that works in partnership with farmers, to develop single wind turbines that feed into the Northern Ireland grid, expects strong interest from the local farming community at the upcoming CAFRE event.

Simple Power Chief Executive Paul Carson said: “This event illustrates CAFRE’s on-going support and encouragement for innovation in our rural economy and we are pleased to see it on the agenda again. Northern Ireland has vast natural resources and this is an excellent event for those interested in getting involved in renewable energy generation and critically in boosting their farming income.”

Those attending the event will be able to view a specially commissioned film showing wind energy in action on local farms, includes the key steps involved in developing single wind turbines on owned by farmers Jim McCord and Matt Millar in county Antrim. The 250Kw single wind turbines on Jim and Matt’s farms were launched by the Environment Minister in October and have been generating clean energy for Northern Ireland homes since.

Simple Power has established a very close working relationship with farmers across Northern Ireland as it develops its single wind turbines business. It fully finances each wind turbine project from the outset with the farmer receiving a single contract guaranteeing a fixed rate of income. Simple Power handles the whole process from site assessment and planning through to construction and grid connection – at no cost to the farmer.

As well as working directly with farmers to develop an additional source of income that benefits rural communities, Simple Power actively supports the Northern Ireland farming community through key partnerships with the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster’s, the Farm Safety Partnership and the Farming Life/Danske Bank Awards.

The CAFRE event will focus on providing practical guidance for farmers interested in renewable energy including first hand experiences. As well as wind energy, other topics to be covered at the event include solar hot water, biomass production, micro-hydro, heat from biomass and anaerobic digestion.

The event runs from 1pm until 10pm on Wednesday 13th February 2013 at CAFRE’s Enniskillen Campus located at 2 Mullaghmeen Road, Levaghy, Enniskillen, BT74 4GF.


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