Lower Electricity Prices, Local Employment and Sustainable Agricultural Opportunities as a Result of An Taisce and Mayo Renewable Power Agreement

1st July 2011
Press Release

Press Release 30th June 2011

“Lower Electricity Prices, Local Employment and Sustainable Agricultural Opportunities as Result of An Taisce and Mayo Renewable Power Agreement”

Mayo Renewable Power will lodge a protocol to ensure sustainability of local source of biomass and An Taisce have withdrawn its appeal to the planning permission.

Mayo Renewable Power have reacted positively to An Taisce’s concerns over the sustainability of the source of biomass for the plant and the agreed ‘Mayo Renewable Power Code of Practice for Monitoring & Control of Biomass Production’ will ensure that the biomass crops for the plant will only be produced from suitable land and in accordance with agreed codes of practice that ensure environmental sustainability.

Mayo Renewable Power have today indicated to Mayo County Council that they will provide the ‘Mayo Renewable Power Code of Practice for Monitoring & Control of Biomass Production’ to Mayo County Council as part of their compliance documentation provided for in the planning permission and that An Taisce has in turn withdrawn its objection to the Mayo County Council decision to grant planning permission to Mayo Renewable Power’s proposed 50MW, all biomass, high efficiency CHP power project.

An Taisce’s Chairman, Charles Stanley-Smith, said: “We are pleased that Mayo Renewable Power’s leadership was responsive to our requests to assure environmental sustainability on this project. We recognise the importance of this plant and its jobs to the economic and social sustainability of the area and are pleased that the project now incorporates a greater commitment to environmental sustainability objectives as well.

An Taisce are committed to national de-carbonisation and see replacement of carbon fuels by sustainably produced biomass as one part of an overall programme, which needs to include other renewable sources of energy and government schemes for the householder such as affordable insulation retrofitting schemes, replacement of open fires and ranges with modern more efficient equivalents. Mayo Renewable Power have committed to An Taisce to continuing discussions to help An Taisce further the achievement of these aims”

Elizabeth Muldowney, An Taisce’s Energy Officer, said: “I am very excited about the outcome on a range of issues in addition to electricity generation. I believe that the protocol developed as a result of our discussions will lead to the development of a national code of practice for all biomass electricity generation plants and will be adopted as THE standard to be achieved by future developers.

An Taisce’s energy priorities are in line with Irish Government energy policy regarding security of supply: to decrease our dangerously high dependence on imported fossil fuels for electricity generation. The Mayo Power project will assist in achieving that goal by displacing 1.5% of base-load fossil fuel electricity generation. This may seem small but it is a good start and will lead to lower electricity prices for consumers as Ireland will not be a hostage to the vagaries of global gas markets and their price volatility.”

David Shaffer, Project Manager with Mayo Renewable Power, said: “Mayo Renewable Power is pleased to reach this agreement with An Taisce and to include its conditions in the planning process. This plant will be a world class biomass project and represents significant foreign direct investment of both treasure and technology. The agreement today makes it an even better project.”

Ends

For further commentary/clarification please contact: Charles Stanley-Smith, Chair, An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland, 087 2411995 David Shaffer, Project Manager, Mayo Renewable Power, +1 609605 1656

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