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Wind Energy Development – NI Forest Service

A project to maximise the financial gain from Forest Service assets by making them attractive to private wind energy developers

Project Description

Historically SIB supported Forest Service to examine opportunities for obtaining better value for money from the forest estate.

As part of a 2009 “Market Sounding” exercise, the industry was asked for “innovative and optimal suggestions on how to best sweat the existing asset base … assisting in delivering value for money to NIFS”.

This exercise helped identify and prioritise the opportunities to be considered. In 2012/3 Forest Service decided to employ the services of a Wind Energy Development Manager (through SIB) to assist decision making with regard to sweating the Forest Service asset base by exploiting commercial opportunities relating to wind energy. The person has been in post from January 2014.

The high level objectives of this project are:

  • To maximise the financial gain from Forest Service assets by making them attractive to private wind energy developers

It must achieve this objective while being mindful of:

  • Complying with its general duty of promoting sustainable forestry and afforestation; and
  • Engaging with the local communities regarding the development of wind energy on forestry land.

Project Status

  • April 2015: The project received approval for the first stage in business case development (Strategic Outline Case) in November 2014. The intention is to have the remaining stages of business case approval completed in 2015 and have at least 100 Megawatts of potential under active development (planning studies, wind monitoring etc) before the end of 2015.

SIB Involvement

Supporting the DAERA (Forest Service) SIB has provided a Wind Energy Development Manager with specialist skills in developing wind farms to act as project lead.

Wind Energy: Windmill