Electricity supplier Energia has signed a contract with wind developers B9 Energy Services and Renewable Energy Systems (RES) for the output of a 7.26 MW extension to an existing wind farm at Lendrum's Bridge, Fivemiletown in Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Energia, part of the Viridian Group, markets electricity to business customers throughout the island of Ireland. The company's John Mawhinney says: "We are delighted to be the first independent energy supply company to contract for the output from a Northern Ireland wind farm, which will ultimately mean customers will have a wider choice of generation sources at competitive prices." The 15 year contract enables B9 and RES to obtain financing to build 11 further turbines at the site which already hosts a 5.94 MW wind farm. Output from the existing 11 turbines is sold to Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) -- most of it under a Northern Ireland Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation contract, but some goes to NIE's domestic Eco Tariff customers. The extension is being built in anticipation of the introduction in Northern Ireland of a renewables obligation, similar to that in Britain, mandating a fixed proportion of green power, represented by renewables certificates, in electricity supplies. Sale of certificates to electricity consumers keen to green their energy consumption will increase the value of the output of the new turbines. According to Michael Harper of B9, the project is the first of several to meet demand under a renewables obligation in Northern Ireland. Work on the extension is due to start at the end of this month and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
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