The proposed building of a new Biomass power plant is causing ructions on both sides of the border. The new plant is to be situated at Carrickroe, Co.Monaghan, in an area that is bounded by N.Ireland except to the south. Over 300 residents from both sides of the border came together at the end of October to protest at the development of the power plant in their backyard. Concerns over pollution , toxic emissions and noise appear to be the primary concern of those protesting. Gene Flood, spokesman for the North Monaghan Against Incineration group " We are worried about the health, emissions, smell and noise." "This region is being promoted as a tourist area. There are also 20 houses within half a mile and three national schools within a one-and-a-quarter-mile radius." When up and the running the power plant is expected to provide electricity for up to 10,000 households. The scale of the operation becomes evident when the amount of biomass needed to generate the required amount of electricity is considered – somewhere in the region of 300,000 tonnes per year at maximum capacity. One of the main sources of biomass is expected to be Spent Mushroom Compost (SMC). Along with chicken litter, SMC will end up providing power to homes and will also cease to be a headache for the mushroom industry. "We've already been funded by the European Union to the tune of e2.9 million," said Maurice McCarron one of the main movers behind the scheme, "and we have a power-purchase agreement under which the ESB has to buy power for 15 years. That makes the project bankable." The plant is being developed by Renewtech, a company run by local men Maurice and Adrian McCarron, with South-Western Services, a farming co-operative in Bandon, Co Cork. It's a neat solution to the problem of SMC that the mushroom industry has been struggling with over this past decade. However the local impact on residents is a something that cannot be ignored. People power sometimes has a way of undermining big projects that fail to include them in the calculations!