Irish renewable company, Biotricity Ltd., has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Irish Farmers' Association covering the purchase and management of straw feedstock for its Rhode, Co. Offaly biomass plant in the Irish midlands which is scheduled to come into production from late 2015.
The MOU was signed by IFA President, John Bryan, and Biotricity Operations Director, Briain Smyth, and covers the feedstock requirements for Ireland's first renewable biomass electricity plant which will consume just over 90,000 tonnes of straw per annum delivering approximately €7 million/$9.35 million in revenue to its farmer suppliers and reducing Ireland's carbon emissions by circa 77,000 tonnes of carbon per annum.
The MOU includes a framework pricing agreement for straw 'on the ledge' which sets a base price of €30/$40 per tonne with bonuses for reduced moisture level plus a €2/$2.7 per tonne straw conditioning bonus for material conditioned by the supplier combined with a guaranteed index linked upward only price review every year. Biotricity will commence initial purchases of straw during 2014 for plant testing and commissioning purposes with full purchasing commencing in 2015.
Commenting, IFA President, John Bryan, said: "The linkages between farming and the production of renewable energy are becoming clearer and include opportunities for farmers to develop sustainable business relationships with the energy sector that provide incomes for farmers plus energy security and low carbon power for Ireland. Biotricity has been to the forefront in developing these relationships and working with farmers to secure the type and quantity of feedstock they need for their Biotricity Rhode biomass plant. IFA sees this as a model for closer co-operation in how we use land to simultaneously grow food and generate renewable energy from crop residues thus boosting farm incomes and benefiting wider society."
Briain Smyth of Biotricity, said: "We are at the break of a new dawn where farmers and their stewardship of the land will play an increasingly important role in energy policy and how we produce electricity in a sustainable way. Farmers have the insights and the practical skills to provide valuable feedstocks for energy generation. I am confident that Biotricity's Rhode plant will provide solid revenues and earn the support of its feedstock suppliers and make a valuable contribution to the farming economy in Ireland."
Biotricity CEO, Declan Kennedy, added: "This is an Irish success story. 80% of the project cost will be paid out to Irish engineering companies, with approximately €14 million/$18million per annum going into the local economy to include salaries (€2 million/$2.7million), straw (€7 million/$9.35million) and other solid biofuels for drying (€5 million/$6.7million).
Construction at Biotricity's 16 MegaWatt Rhode plant will commence towards the end of the First Quarter of 2014 with plant testing and commissioning towards the end of 2015. Full scale generation will start in 2016. At the peak of construction, 200 jobs will be created with 44 jobs continuing during operations plus an additional 19 jobs in logistical support with over 80% of the capital spend going to Irish engineering companies.
Rhode has qualified for the Renewable Feed In Tariff (REFIT) 3 programme which provides a government backed 15-year renewable electricity supply contract.
About Biotricity Ltd: Biotricity Limited is an Irish-owned renewable energy company committed to the supply of renewable power from domestically sourced and grown biomass. Biotricity was established by its Directors, Declan Kennedy and Briain Smyth. Declan Kennedy, is a former Entrepreneur of the Year for his work on developing the Irish Forestry Funds. Westmeath native and Operational Director, Briain Smyth, is a renowned expert on biomass and renewable energy, and has advised The Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Teagasc and several commercial and industrial clients. Biotricity's Rhode Co. Offaly biomass plant is a fully approved facility with a transmission grid connection in place. Construction will commence on this facility in Q1 2014 with commissioning of the facility towards the end of 2015.