£41 million investment in wind farms boosts renewable growth

Gaelectrics built and  planned wind farm investment now stands at around �170 million
Gaelectrics built and planned wind farm investment now stands at around �170 million

A £41 million investment in two Tyrone wind farms has creatd 40 jobs and will produce enough renewable power to meet the electricity demand of more than 17,500 homes on an annual basis. Renewable energy group, Gaelectric has claimed.

The firm will officially open the Inishative and Cregganconroe wind farms in Pomeroy today as it carries on a programme to construct and commission approximately 400MWs of consented wind energy projects on the island of Ireland by the end of 2017.

“These openings mark yet another important milestone for our business and further strengthens Gaelectric’s platform in the energy market,” said Patrick McClughan, head of corporate affairs for Gaelectric Developments.

“The total permitted portfolio now stands at 140 MWs in Northern Ireland and represents a total investment of approx £170m. 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.”

It was important, he added, that local communities close to wind farms have the opportunity to share in the social and economic benefits of the development, prompting the launch of the Inishative and Cregganconroe Community Benefit Funds, which have the objective of supporting local community projects within the area.

Independently administered and managed 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 area.

In the last five years, Gaelectric has secured planning approval for nine Northern Ireland wind farm developments.

The company’s operational wind farms in Northern Ireland are:

:: £20m 13.8MW Carn Hill wind farm, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, May 2013

:: £58m 42MW Dunbeg wind farm, between Limavady and Coleraine, Nov 2014

:: £16.8m 12MW Monnaboy wind farm on Loughermore Mountain Co Londonderry Feb 2016

:: £13.4m 9.2MW Cloonty wind farm between Derrykeighan and Bushmills, Co Antrim Nov 2016

Established in 2004 and employing more than 100 people, Gaelectric has offices in Belfast and Dublin.

The company currently employs 16 people in its technical office based at Clarendon Dock in Belfast.

The Belfast team is focused on all technical aspects of renewable energy development from wind farm design, feasibility studies and land acquisition and site selection to due diligence, grid feasibility study and operations and maintenance.