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Wind energy firm teams with French in £50m deal

A Northern Ireland wind energy company has signed a £50m deal to distribute 200 single wind turbines here by 2016 with the creation of at least 20 jobs.

Belfast-based Simple Power has teamed up with French manufacturer Vergnet SA to deliver the company’s mid-range Vergnet GEV-MP R 250kW structures across the country.

Construction work has been awarded to Heron Brothers of Draperstown, Co Londonderry.

The news is a further boost for the ever-expanding renewables industry in Northern Ireland and matches the £50m deal signed between Belfast Harbour and Danish energy giant DONG late last year.

The company has appraised around 1200 potential sites all over Northern Ireland and has already selected 150 locations.

Simple Power chief executive Paul Carson said that he is delighted to be allied to such a well known global player in the industry.

He added that he hopes that the development will lead to up to 20 new direct jobs.

“Vergnet is a global leader in the medium wind sector with expertise spanning 20 years,” he said.

“We look forward to leveraging our combined strengths to fuel the growth of the single wind turbine sector in the province.

“There will be a number of new jobs in the pipeline both directly and in the supply chain and the construction sector, which is in big need of a boost.

“We have gone from nothing to a team of eight in a short space of time and we hope to build up the team over the next four years.

“The only one thing that can stop this progression is planning. Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has created incentives for the generation of renewable energy and Environment Minister Alex Attwood is 100% behind applications that can assist economic development – but if a planning officer decides against it, those incentives and that support is worthless.”

To date, Vergnet has successfully installed more than 750 turbines worldwide in a diverse range of environments from Australia, France, Japan to Taiwan, Chile and Cuba.

Marc Vergnet, chief executive of, Vergnet SA added: “With Simple Power, Vergnet has found an innovative and very professional partner in a rapidly growing renewable energy region.

“The calibre of the Simple Power team, which is clearly highly committed to developing the single wind energy market in Northern Ireland, was particularly important.”