Powering Ahead - Spring / Summer 2015

Simple Power - Powering Ahead, Spring / Summer 2015

Ahead Powering

Spring/Summer 2015

Welcome to the Spring/Summer 2015 Simple Power newsletter. Simple Power has been working hard with various partners to engage Ministers on issues affecting the renewables sector in Northern Ireland and to encourage

continued Government commitment to supporting farmers and the industry in our efforts to generate clean, green energy. You can find out more about this in our policy round up below. Since our last update, we have been on the road exhibiting at various events and hosting schools visits. This included exhibiting at Balmoral Show 2015 within the new Sustainable Village. The show was a great success and we even welcomed our new Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Jonathan Bell, to the Simple Power stand to learn more about the work that we do with our farming partners throughout the province. As we mark our second year of CSR partnership with farming charity Rural Support, we celebrate our past successes including the recent launch of the first annual ‘Wellies to Work Day’ to raise awareness of Rural Support and the services they offer. We are excited to share our news with you and hope you enjoy this Spring/Summer edition. Philip Philip Rainey, Chief Executive of Simple Power

Policy Round Up Following the recent general election, Jonathan Bell MLA has been appointed as the new Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, and we welcome his appointment to the role in a time when energy policy in Northern Ireland is firmly in the spotlight.

One of his first major announcements was to confirm that DETI support for renewable energy projects will continue until March 2017 as planned, despite the equivalent scheme in GB closing one year earlier in 2016. We welcome the Minister’s statement and recognise that this support is absolutely vital for landowners who want to diversify into renewable energy. However, there is still much work to be done. Achieving timely grid connections remains a major issue for the industry and we again urge key stakeholders to reach a positive outcome as soon as possible. Simple Power is working hard with various partners including the Ulster Farmers’ Union to engage the Minister and his Department on such issues, including grace periods and the introduction of a small-scale Feed In Tariff post the closure of the current Renewable Obligations in 2017. We are grateful to our farming partners for their continued support as we work to improve on delivery of small- scale renewable energy opportunities for landowners across the country.


Balmoral Show We were delighted to exhibit at the Balmoral Show 2015 within the new Sustainable Village and to meet with many local farmers, their families and stakeholders in the renewables industry.

Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Jonathan Bell, also

visited our stand and discussed with Chief Executive Philip Rainey and the team how Simple Power is delivering renewable energy solutions throughout Northern Ireland. Our presence at the show was profiled in Farming Life and FarmWeek and we look forward to exhibiting again in 2016. Read more .

Turbine Tracking We recently launched our newWind Turbine Map on the Simple Power website which outlines the locations of Simple Power wind turbines throughout Northern Ireland. It enables you to see, at a glance, the locations currently supplying the Northern Ireland electricity grid. As well as operational wind turbines, it illustrates the growth for the future by highlighting developments under construction. View the map .

Simple Power ‘Out & About’

For the fifth year running, we exhibited at the 2015 Spring Farm Machinery Show in Fintona, County Tyrone and we also had the pleasure of exhibiting at the ‘Practical On-farm Renewable Energy’ event at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise’s (CAFRE) Enniskillen Campus in County Fermanagh. The Simple Power team showcased new installations undertaken on farms throughout Northern Ireland and demonstrated first-hand the steps required to develop single wind turbines. We were very pleased to award Ballynahinch boy, Lewis Walkingshaw, age 6, his prize of a Smyths Toy Store voucher for being the winner of our annual ‘Spring Wind Energy Challenge’ competition. Read more .


Giving it Some Welly In the run up to the two year anniversary of our CSR partnership with farming charity, Rural Support, we were delighted to launch the first annual ‘Wellies to Work Day’ on Friday 5th June 2015. The campaign saw supporters donning their wellies to work and upload

selfies of themselves in their wellies to the Rural Support Twitter page using the hashtag #WelliesToWork. The viral campaign was a huge success and attracted significant engagement including a tweet from ARD Minister Michelle O’Neill who was captured with her feet up in her wellies supporting the campaign. In addition to Wellies to Work Day, we proudly sponsored Rural Support’s ‘Spring on the Farm’ colouring competition which saw Bushmills girl, Alex McCook, aged 7, win a packed chocolate hamper for her creative work. Read more .

School Visits Pupils from Carhill Integrated Primary School in Garvagh, Coleraine, visited one of Simple Power’s newest wind turbines on local farmer Ian Pollock’s Braemar Farm, home of the famous Braemar Farm ice cream. The Simple Power team gave pupils a tour of the wind turbine and highlighted first-hand how it can help reduce our carbon footprint. Also hosting our youngest group to date, nursery children from The Grove Nursery School, Armagh, made the journey to Jim McCord’s farm in Moneynick, County Antrim and saw the turbine in action and even got up close to some of the farm animals. Read more . Simple Power is always happy to host schools and youth groups - if you know of any groups interested in taking an educational tour of our turbine, please contact Jago Communications on 028 9091 8420. Wind Energy Facts Did you know...? Since 2012, small and medium wind turbines have increased their electricity generation to over 391 gigawatt hours - the equivalent of providing over 93,000 UK households with electricity


Farming Life Awards We are proud to support 2015 Danske Bank Farming Life Awards and The Unsung Hero category for the fourth year in a row. The Awards are an excellent opportunity to recognise, reward and honour the many talented people within the farming industry with whom we work so closely. The Unsung Hero Award is important to us as it shines a much-needed spotlight on individuals whose exceptional efforts are helping to make Northern Ireland’s farming community what it is today. If you know an Unsung Hero in your community who deserves recognition, you can obtain an entry form through Farming Life, with entries closing on Friday 4th September 2015.

Spotlight on Wind Wind energy is certainly blowing in the right direction with reports highlighting that last year a fifth (20%) of Northern Ireland’s electricity needs were met from renewable sources, 18% of which was from wind energy. Despite these promising figures, we recognise inhibiting challenges still exist in the renewable sector here. At Simple Power, we are actively engaging on all fronts to encourage necessary change in the renewable sector, providing support for the farming community and seeking to improve the overall energy mix in Northern Ireland.

For more information go to www.simplepower.co or call us on 028 90 241 199 @Simple_Power


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