Hillsborough chairman in energy co-op appeal to public

THE newly apppointed chairman of Northern Ireland’s first community wind energy co-operative – Drumlin Wind Energy Co-op – is calling on people throughout County Down to invest in and benefit directly from the community-focused venture.

Hillsborough social entrepreneur Nigel Brady (pictured) was appointed Director of Bryson Energy, the Energy Agency for Northern Ireland, in 2007.

Bryson Energy is part of the Bryson Charitable Group and operated in partnership with Derry City Council and Fermanagh District Council.

Nigel was previously a Member of the Northern Ireland Fuel Poverty Advisory Group 2010 and also provided the secretariat for the All-Party Group on Energy, established in 2008 at Stormont.

He has joined Drumlin Wind Energy Co-op as Chairman to help take the project from planning stage to construction and operation.

“I am delighted,” he said, “to be appointed as a Director of Drumlin Wind Energy Co-operative.”

Drumlin has launched a public share offer to raise up to £3.4m to build five 250KW single wind turbines across five sites in Northern Ireland, including Pomeroy, Kells, Larne and Ballyclare.

Individuals, businesses and organisations may invest between £250 and £20,000 in the shares, which are eligible for Enterprise Investment Tax Relief at 30%, and will receive a return on their investment averaging approximately 7% - 10% per annum over a 20-year period – full details are available in the share offer document.

The Share offer period ends on 21 September 2012 and is open to everyone, from those interested in environmental issues to those looking for an ethical investment, to grandparents and parents considering a long-term investment on behalf of their children and grandchildren.

The project has been created by local company NRG Solutions in partnership with Cumbria based Energy4All and while it is the first project of its kind in Northern Ireland, the co-operative model is being hailed as having enjoyed considerable success in the UK over the past number of years.

“This is a truly innovative model by which local people can take ownership of and benefit both financially and environmentally from renewable energy,” said Nigel.

“Profits from the sale of green electricity will be distributed to members through an annual dividend and, importantly, a community fund has been set up to support local initiatives in the areas housing the turbines, for example environment conservation projects.

“This is an ethical investment which will deliver an attractive return on investment and I would encourage anyone interested to visit www.drumlin.coop or call 0845 373 3612 for more information.”