Andrew calls for investment in community based venture

LURGAN businessman Andrew McMurray has been appointed as a director of Northern Ireland’s first community wind energy co-operative – Drumlin Wind Energy Co-op – and is calling on people in County Armagh to invest in and benefit directly from this community focused venture.

Andrew graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 2003 and a Masters degree in Renewable Energy in 2004. He started his career with B9 Energy/RES and worked on the development and engineering aspects of 10 wind farms in Northern Ireland. Andrew has volunteered with Friends of the Earth for 13 years and served as a board member from 2006 to 2009.

In 2009 Andrew formed a new company called NRG Solutions, a consultancy service in the renewable energy and electrical engineering sector. He has joined Drumlin Wind Energy Co-op as a Director to help take the project from planning stage to construction and operation.

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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.

The project has been created by local company NRG Solutions in partnership with Cumbria based Energy4All.

Whilst this is the first project of its kind in Northern Ireland, the co-operative model has enjoyed considerable success in the UK over the past number of years, where Energy4All has been involved in setting up seven community wind co-operatives owned by around 7,000 investors and together generating a total of 16MW of renewable energy.

Andrew said: “I am delighted to be appointed as a Director of Drumlin Wind Energy Co-operative. This is a truly innovative model by which local people can take ownership of and benefit both financially and environmentally from renewable energy. 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 or call 0845 373 3612 for more information.”