£58m new wind farmin Limavady outskirtswill power 24k homes
Gaelectric, the company behind a £58m new windfarm on the outskirts of Limavady, says it will generate sufficient renewable power to meet the electricity demand of nearly 24,000 homes on an annual basis.
Dunbeg wind farm, which is located off the Broad Road, between Limavady and Coleraine, is the firm’s second operating wind farm in Northern Ireland and is one of the largest wind farms ever constructed in Northern Ireland.
The energy company progressing through a programme to construct and commission a near term portfolio of approximately 164 MWs on consented wind energy projects on the island of Ireland by 2017.
Speaking ahead of the announcement, Finance Minister Simon Hamilton, said: “The Northern Ireland Executive has set a challenging target of 40 per cent renewable electricity consumption by 2020 and today we are sitting at a figure of around 19 per cent.
“Renewable energy plays an important role in diversifying our energy mix in Northern Ireland and over the last decade, the investment by Gaelectric has contributed to Northern Ireland’s renewable generation portfolio.
“As well as helping to reduce our carbon emissions, wind farms such as this create jobs and generate investment – this contribution is to be welcomed. I am also encouraged that in excess of £3million will be invested in local community funds as a result of this and other Gaelectric projects in Northern Ireland.”
Brendan McGrath, Gaelectric Group CEO, said: “The 42MW Dunbeg wind farm development is the second renewable energy project that Gaelectric has commissioned in Northern Ireland. This official opening marks a major milestone for our business and further strengthens Gaelectric’s platform in the energy market.
“Our total permitted portfolio now stands at 140MWs in Northern Ireland and represents a total investment of approximately £170million. This consolidates Gaelectric’s position as the largest indigenous renewable energy company in Northern Ireland, and we are proud to make a significant contribution to Northern Ireland’s renewable energy targets.
“2014 is the tenth anniversary of Gaelectric’s establishment as a renewable energy group. Over the last 10 years, Gaelectric has progressed an ambitious wind energy development programme on the island of Ireland, in the United States centred on the State of Montana, and energy storage utilising compressed air energy storage technology in our CAES project near Larne.
“We have developed and grown our internal team to provide services for group operations around project development, project management, project finance and energy markets.
“The launch of Dunbeg is a fitting way to mark our 10 years in existence and a tribute to our internal team and our technology and funding partners who have made this happen.”
Patrick McClughan, Gaelectric’s Head of Corporate Affairs, and chair of the Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) adds: “It is important to Gaelectric that local communities close to the Dunbeg wind farm have the opportunity to share in the social and economic benefits of this renewable energy development.
“To ensure this happens in a tangible way we have launched the Dunbeg Community Benefit Fund, which has the objective of supporting local community projects within the Aghanloo area.
“Independently administered and managed on behalf of Gaelectric by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, the Fund will provide grant support of between £500 and £5,000 to local community and voluntary groups which are delivering projects that support community cohesion in the Aghanloo area.
“Community projects will be able to access in excess of £1million over the 25 year lifespan of the Project.”