UFU provides evidence to NI Assembly’s ETI Committee on Micro-grid

Tuesday, 30 September, 2014

The Ulster Farmers’ Union have recently presented evidence to the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Enterprise, Trade and Investment (ETI) Committee on the theory and merits behind micro-grids and their prospective role in Northern Ireland. 

Speaking after the meeting, UFU Deputy President Barclay Bell said: “Our evidence on micro-grids was favourably received and the ETI committee were receptive to the possibility that this could be a viable alternative for those unable to connect small scale renewable generation to the electricity grid.  Micro-grids are smart geographically localised networks capable of aggregating and optimising diverse small-scale renewable resources and the energy generated can then be distributed to selected customers.  Working in conjunction with a local storage solution, it would allow a greater efficient use of energy and improve power quality in many instances.

Barclay continued: “We acknowledge that NIE are making significant progress on Project 40 which would allow future managed connections to the grid for a number of would-be small scale renewable generators. However, where the cost of upgrade is significant, grid connection will not be possible for many and this is where consideration should be given to a micro-grid. This concept was also put to the ETI Committee.”