Alliance celebrate 'Green Economy' breakthrough at NMD Council

Alliance Newry Mourne and Down Councillors have expressed their delight that Council management have finally brought forward plans to develop photovoltaic (PV) farms on two of their redundant landfill sites in Aughnagun and Drumnakelly, following a meeting of the Environment Committee on Wednesday (20 March).

Alliance Green New Deal Environment Newry Mourne and Down District Council

Such plans, progressed and championed by Alliance, aim to generate large amounts of cheap renewable energy and substantial income to the benefit of the ratepayer.


Alliance Councillor Cadogan Enright has said: "This is one of the 10 'Green Economy' projects Alliance has been campaigning for since 2019. This will give us a net cash flow of £250,000pa in the first year on just these 2 sites alone. Our investment should pay for itself in five years time, and give the council a projected £400,000 income there afterwards.


These sorts of investments are commonly used in GB by Councils to reduce rates and fight global warming. We are delighted to have led Newry Mourne and Down Council to be the first council in Northern Ireland to start profitably tackling climate change."


Mournes Councillor Jill Truesdale added: "This is equivalent to reducing rates by half a percent with just our first project, and there are many other sites that Alliance has identified for PV farms that, in total, could raise up to £3 million pounds per annum in savings or additional revenues that can help tackle rates bills."


South Down MLA Patrick Brown congratulated Alliance's NMD Council team for getting this project over the line after five years of hard work: "This campaign dates back to before I was elected as an MLA for South Down in 2022 and when I was a councillor working with both Cllr Enright and Cllr Andrew McMurray to keep the pressure on to deliver these savings for ratepayers."


Rowallane Councillor Tierna Kelly, who also sits on the council’s Finance Committee said: "This project will transform expensive to maintain brownfield legacy waste dumps into serious income streams that can help reduce the pressure to increase rates. We have presented ten 'Green Economy' projects to council's Strategic Finance Committee over the last 5 years and these 2 are the first two to be realised."


Fellow Rowallane Alliance Councillor David Lee-Surginor added: "The prospect that the Council is also planning to install Tesla-style battery farms at the same time in this waste-dump investment project is likely to multiply the financial benefit threefold. This is because the grid operator and NIE will be able to draw down the renewable energy as and when it is most needed, rather than during daylight hours only. As a local businessman, I see this project demonstrating just how the 'Green Economy' can deliver for Council. Having the power to decarbonise power profitably in order to produce cheap energy locally and boost our economy with local jobs is so encouraging, and I’m incredibly proud that Alliance has been leading the way on this."