Wide horizons for Irish green trade -- New renewables supplier

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A new green electricity supply company, E.Co, has emerged to sell wind generated power in Ireland's newly deregulated market. It already has over 42 MW of wind available to the domestic market and medium to large enterprises. E.Co's parent company, Treasury Holdings -- one of Ireland's largest property businesses -- plans to invest more than £200 million over the next five years in its green power subsidiary.

Power for E.Co -- Ireland's second green electricity supplier -- will come from wind farms on land, offshore and overseas. Treasury Holdings already has two wind farms that have been operating for the last two years under an AER 1 contract. It has an additional 42 MW to be installed over the next 12 months, and 40 MW in the following year. Keen to expand its generating capacity as quickly as possible, E.Co has entered a joint venture with Belfast shipyard Harland & Wolff to develop offshore facilities. Meanwhile, Treasury Holdings is involved in a joint venture in Turkey where a 30 MW wind farm is under construction.

E.Co's chief executive, Vincent Costello, says the company has had discussions with users in the industrial sector who are prepared to pay a premium for the E.Co product on part of their requirements. "We are at an advanced stage with a new brown energy producer with a view to a joint marketing effort in this area. Customers will be supplied with a blend of green and brown electricity, with E.Co supplying the green element," he says.

"Ireland has one of the best wind resources in Europe and this natural asset should be carefully nurtured, developed and marketed to maximise returns to Irish farmers and Irish business. We foresee a situation where Ireland could be exporting green electricity to Europe at premium prices." Costello points out that Treasury Holdings plans eventually to incorporate a number of green products and services under the E.Co label.

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