The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in Northern Ireland is hosting a ‘Practical On-farm Renewable Energy’ (POFRE) event on February 18.

The event will take place at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise’s (CAFRE) Enniskillen Campus.

DARD in partnership with the Ulster Farmer’s Union (UFU) and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) aim to “provide practical information for farmers and the rural sector about the various renewable energy options available for their businesses”.

There will be a series of seminars throughout the day highlighting local case studies of the main renewable energy technologies; David Curry from Coleraine will share his experiences of installing a 225kW wind turbine and Donald Montgomery will talk about the biogas facility under development on the family farm in Eglinton.

Other case studies on the microhydro plant on John Oliver’s farm near Limavady and biomass boilers on the pig unit at Andrew McCrea’s unit in Stewartstown will be covered and David Trimble will share the results of the monitoring of PV installations on five farms across Northern Ireland.

There will be other seminars covering biomass production and utilisation, and Dr John Harrison will examine the potential for energy storage systems.

A second series of seminars will deal with many of the issues facing those considering installing a green energy source. They will cover issues such as the Renewable Heat Incentive – Seamus Hughes, DETI; grid connection – Michael Atkinson, NIE; NI Renewable Obligation Certificates – Sean Convery, The Greenyard, as well as financing projects – Eoin Donnelly and Dominic O’Neill, AIB. Chris Osbourne, UFU will also look at the potential for microgrid systems.

In addition, there will be over 40 trade stands in the Trade Exhibition area and the opportunity to tour the biomass boiler installation at Enniskillen Campus.

The event will run from 1.00pm until 9.00pm in the evening. For further details, contact Connor Maguire at 028 6634 4853 or [email protected]