Wind energy developer Simple Power signs 15-year agreement with Power NI

8 Aug 2012

Stephen McCully, managing director of Power NI and Paul Carson, founder and CEO, Simple Power, at the latter's first wind turbine site in Northern Ireland in Randalstown, Co Antrim

Northern Irish wind-energy company Simple Power has signed a 15-year agreement with the electricity retailer Power NI. The contract means the energy supplier will purchase power generated by Simple Power’s single wind turbines across Northern Ireland over a 15-year period.

The company is aiming to generate 50MW of clean energy for distribution by Power NI. Apparently this will equate to enough to power the equivalent of around 50,000 homes.

Paul Carson set up Simple Power in 2010 to deploy single wind turbines in partnership with Northern Irish farmers and landowners.

According to the company, it will be developing around 200 medium-scale single turbines across Northern Ireland over the next five years, at an investment of almost stg£100m.

At the minute Northern Ireland produces around 10pc of its electricity from renewables – mainly via large-scale wind farm projects. However, with its medium-scale turbines, Simple Power is on a mission to increase Northern Ireland’s current renewable energy generation by around 30pc.

Northern Ireland has a 40pc renewable energy target by 2020.

Speaking yesterday, Simple Power’s CEO Carson said the power purchase agreement with Power NI is a milestone for both companies, but also for the landowners and the local community in the North.

He pointed to how the alliance with Power NI will also have spin-offs for the local economy.

“Medium-scale wind development, in the form of the single wind turbines we develop, also supports the rural economy by enabling farmers and landowners to participate in renewable generation,” he said.

As for Power NI, it currently supplies electricity to around 700,000 home, farms and businesses in Northern Ireland.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic