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Ireland Kicks off Straw-to-Electricity Plant

Ireland’s first renewable biomass electricity plant is set to convert straw into electricity starting 2015.

Irish renewable energy company, Biotricity, has signed an agreement with country’s farmers group covering the purchase and management of straw feedstock for its biomass plant in the Irish midlands.

The plant is scheduled to come into production from late 2015.

The agreement covers the feedstock requirements for Ireland's first renewable biomass electricity plant in Rhode which will consume just over 90,000 tons of straw per year.

Related article: Spain Turns Sewage into Energy in World First

For farmers, it could mean some $9.35 million in revenue.

For the environment, it means a reduction in carbon emissions to the tune of 77,000 tons of carbon every year.

The facility will feature combined-heat-and-power technology, with an adjacent timber processing facility taking in heat from the biomass-fired plant.

"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’s Briain Smyth told media.

Construction at the plant will begin in the second quarter of 2014, when initial purchases of straw will start, with plant testing and commissioning towards the end of 2015. Full-scale generation is slated for 2016.

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Rhode has qualified for the Renewable Feed In Tariff (REFIT) 3 program, which provides a government-backed 15-year renewable electricity supply contract.

Earlier this year, renewable energy consulting firm Natural Power announced it was awarded a contract to provide engineering services for the Rhode project.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com


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