Feedstock agreement signed for proposed Irish bioenergy plant

By Erin Voegele | September 24, 2013

Ireland-based Biotricity Ltd. recently announced it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Irish Farmers’ Association to supply straw feedstock to its proposed 16 megawatt (MW) plant in Rhode, County Offaly, Ireland, a community approximately 45 miles west of Dublin.

Construction on the project is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2014, with commissioning scheduled for late 2015. According to Biotricity, the plant will consume approximately 90,000 metric tons of straw per year.

Information released by the company states the MOU sets a base price of €30 ($40) per metric ton, with bonuses for reduced moisture level plus a €2 ($2.70) per metric ton conditioning bonus for material conditioned by the supplier. Biotricity is expected to begin purchasing straw in 2014 for testing and commissioning purposes.

"We are at the break of a new dawn where farmers and their stewardship of the land will play an increasingly important role in energy policy and how we produce electricity in a sustainable way,” said Briain Smyth of Biotricity. “Farmers have the insights and the practical skills to provide valuable feedstocks for energy generation. I am confident that Biotricity's Rhode plant will provide solid revenues and earn the support of its feedstock suppliers and make a valuable contribution to the farming economy in Ireland."

Earlier this year, renewable energy consulting firm Natural Power announced it was awarded a contract to provide engineering services for the Rhode project. Information released by the firm indicates the facility will feature combined-heat-and-power technology, with an adjacent timber processing facility taking in heat from the biomass-fired plant.

Rhode has qualified for the Renewable Feed In Tariff (REFIT) 3 program, which provides a government backed 15-year renewable electricity supply contract.