Maize contracts for NI digestion plant
Grass and maize from the Republic of Ireland is set to be used to meet British carbon emissions targets instead of our own targets.
Anaerobic digestion plants in Northern Ireland have begun to sign contracts for feedstock such as slurry, grass silage and maize silage to be supplied by farmers south of the Border.
Bionergy development has ground to halt in the Republic as the wait for REFIT tariffs continues. However, the sector in Northern Ireland is powering ahead.
It is understood that 11 new anaerobic digesters are in the planning process which, if approved, will be up and running within 18 months.
Electricity generated through anaerobic digesters is eligible for four Renewable Energy Certificates (ROCs), worth Stg18p/kwh, as well as the market price for electricity of 5p/kwh.
The ROC payment of Stg18p/kwh equates to almost 21c/kwh, which is 6c higher than the proposed REFIT tariff offered in the Republic.
Anaerobic digestion is being looked on very favourably in the North because it is backed by the British government and has a short payback time of less than five years.
Some plants have already signed contracts with farmers in the border counties to provide grass and maize silage feedstock for the digesters. It is believed that one Meath farmer has signed a deal for 500ac of maize to go North for digestion next year.