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United Kingdom

Below fossil price

At least one of the two wind projects which won a contract under Northern Ireland's latest order for renewable capacity is to generate electricity at a highly competitive price, even below the average £0.038 paid to Northern Ireland's four fossil-fuelled generators under the bulk supply tariff

For perhaps the first time ever wind energy is to be sold at below the going price for fossil fuel generation. It seems that at least one of the two wind projects which won a contract under Northern Ireland's latest order for renewable capacity is to generate electricity at a highly competitive price.

As ever, wind generators who competed for contracts in Northern Ireland's second Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (NI-NFFO) are coy about revealing the prices they bid with. However, a submission to Dungannon district council in June revealed that the cost of output from a wind farm to be developed by English wind developer Renewable Energy Systems (RES) will be below the average £0.038 paid to Northern Ireland's four fossil-fuelled generators under the bulk supply tariff. Though this tariff is artificially high -- partly because it includes other than direct generation costs and partly because it results from a quirk of privatisation -- the fact that wind can beat it is significant.

RES's NI-NFFO contract is for a 5 MW wind farm at Lendrums Bridge -- halfway between Fivemiletown and Fintona in County Tyrone. The company says the project has been favourably received so far.

The second wind contract went to B9 Energy Services Ltd of Larne in County Antrim for a 1 MW wind turbine at Slievenahanaghan in Antrim. According to B9's David Surplus, the machine will be the new RES 1 MW turbine now under development. The site was formerly occupied by a demonstration WEG MS3 wind turbine, now dismantled. B9's new development will have the advantages of an existing access road and transformer station.

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