South Down Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard MLA has called on DETI Minister Jonathan Bell to honour the commitments he gave to support onshore wind energy projects (NIRO).
Mr Hazzard said: “Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell announced on 30 September that he was ending support for onshore wind energy projects one year earlier than he had committed to previously.
“This would leave many small investors severely out of pocket, as significant costs are incurred during the lengthy planning application process.
“Recently I met Sean Fitzpatrick in Ballymartin, who currently has two projects lodged with the Planning Service, but they have been taking longer than normal because of the council merger and as things stand he is left out of pocket.
“Like many other investors he has put in a significant amount of time and money in pursuing grid connections. The DETI announcement means that the time and money spent is lost, as the investment is no longer viable.”
“The announcement bringing forward the NIRO closing date by 12 months, came without warning and is totally unfair on people who have committed to delivering renewable wind energy projects.”
“I have written to the Minister Bell, to ask him to defer the eligibility date for small scale onshore wind farms and to honour the commitments that were given so that small investors who were already in the planning process have a chance to secure the viability of their projects.”]]>