Aircraft manufacturer Bombardier has put forward a planning application to build a renewable energy plant next to its Belfast premises.
The proposed plant would be built, owned and operated by an energy consortium, and more than half of the energy generated would be classified as renewable for the site next to the existing Bombardier factory and offices.
Bombardier’s desire to generate its own energy is a response to soaring energy costs, with crude oil holding above $100 (£65) a barrel for the last two years and feeding into higher electricity and fuel costs.
Energy costs in Northern Ireland are higher than in other parts of the UK, which has proved a drain on an intensive user such as Bombardier.
A spokeswoman for the company, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, said: “Energy costs are critical to our overall competitiveness and affect our ability to win new contracts. Energy costs in Northern Ireland are probably three times those in North America and significantly higher than other parts of the world.
“We have explored a number of energy options including areas within wind, geo-thermal and solar technologies but we believe that this proposed plant is the optimum solution to help us secure a more sustainable and competitive energy source.”
It has not emerged which energy source the Bombardier plant will be powered by.