Future Renewables Eco plc (FRE) has been exploring the Irish market over the last year, both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and has now developed three wind turbine sites that form part of Phase 3. Focusing on Northern Ireland, we were keen to look at new development proposals for FRE investors and an excellent opportunity arose when we encountered the owner of Farm Energy Northern Ireland (FENI), Mr Sean Convery, a well-respected local businessman running an advisory service to the renewable energy sector for 10 years. FENI controlled the day to day management of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) trading on behalf of in excess of 100 wind turbine sites, many of which he developed from planning right through to completion with the landowners. This relationship gives FRE a commercial overview to all these landowners as existing customers of FENI to discuss repowering opportunities and other services in addition to ROCs trading.
FRE has carried out considerable investigations into the power purchase agreement (PPA) market both in the UK and with FENI in Northern Ireland and has interviewed two of the largest legal firms in the UK to assist with this.
Within the Northern Irish market, through FENI, who will also manage our own three sites and those currently under review for acquisition, the opportunity arises to form a strategic alliance with a green energy power supply company to enter into a lucrative PPA which not only enhances the income expectation of individual sites but also maximises income from ROCs trading on our behalf. This contract is now established and went live in August with most of FENI’s customers in addition to a widescale penetration into the existing Northern Irish market place with other generators.
To add to this, we have also created a strategic alliance with a Perth based Operations and Maintenance (O&M) company, Realise Energy Services Ltd (RES), that will ensure preferential rates for all our servicing requirements with a well trusted and reputable UK-wide firm. Because of a lack of supported servicing companies in Northern Ireland, we are working closely with RES to establish a trading operation in Northern Ireland making it one of the largest maintenance operators in the UK. Going forward, RES will look after all our spinning assets in the UK and throughout Ireland.
As part of the new structure, Mark Jennison, Director of RES, will have an active role with sister organisation Randolph Renewables Ltd as its new Managing Director. With him, he will bring his extensive experience in the Renewable Energy industry (with both large and small wind) along with co-Director of RES, Sheridan Jenkins. Similarly, we will retain Sean Convery as a Consultant following the acquisition of FENI.
In the post subsidy world of Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) and ROCs, Randolph Renewables Ltd was created to develop new site opportunities in both small wind (< 500 kW) and large-scale wind opportunities (> 1MW). The large wind opportunities are being acquired through private funding sources initially and take projects to development status for FRE with full security wraparound for investors at that stage. We are currently looking at a number of exciting opportunities in large wind. The first is a 16.1 MW (7 x 2.3 MW) site in Northern Ireland with build-out in 2019 and goes live with a grid connection planned in 2020. This site is expected to feature heavily in our Phase 5 plans. Ongoing for Phase 4, we have identified three sites which meet all our criteria to close off this interim investment opportunity.
Turning to the Republic of Ireland, we now have a team based there looking at developing the Irish marketplace as a whole for large wind projects (in excess of 5 MW sites) and strategically placed for the Renewables Energy Support Scheme (RESS) which has been devised to assist in meeting Ireland’s green energy targets in 2020 and beyond.
In conclusion, through both of these strategic relationships (FENI and RES) FRE plc is well placed to continue its expansion into the UK and Ireland marketplaces offering a full wraparound service to both our own sites and those earmarked for future development ranging from trading ROCs, maximising PPA income streams, priority O&M service provision leading to constant monitoring of our own spinning assets and daily management and in the future to include insurance, refinance or acquisition opportunities.