Farmers are set to receive a guaranteed price for the woodchip biomass they supply to a planned 42.5MW Electricity Generating Station and Biomass Fuel Processing Facility to be built in Killala in Co. Mayo.

Mayo Renewable Power Limited announced it has closed on the finance for the project, which will be fuelled by woodchip biomass, is certified as a high efficiency, combined heat and power facility with a project cost of €180m and qualifies for Ireland’s Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) programme.

Mayo Renewable Power has received all necessary planning and permits to proceed and issued its construction commencement notice in 2014. Full construction activity will commence immediately and the plant will be in commercial operation in mid 2017.

Construction is expected to generate up to 350 jobs.

Mayo Renewable Power

Mayo Renewable Power

According to Michael Ronayne, initially, the plant will be supplied with imported biomass product from the US, however the plan is to supplement that over time with locally grown willow and miscanthus.

He said a pilot project has been undertaken in the local area and the performance of the crops has been good with strong yields.

“This is a great opportunity for farmers in Connacht. Farmers will know two years in advance of their crop being harvested what the price the receive will be.

We also commit to taking everything that farmers are willing to give and grow.

Ronayne also said it is expected that Irish sourcing will reinforce renewability, sustainability and security of supply. Moreover, Irish sourcing of biomass will generate significant employment opportunities in Ireland.