A Co Londonderry wind farm capable of powering more than 7,400 homes is to be opened today.
The £17 million investment by renewable energy group Gaelectric is at Monnaboy on Loughermore Mountain close to Eglinton.
Patrick McClughan, head of corporate affairs at the firm, said the opening was a milestone.
“Our total permitted portfolio now stands at 400 megawatts in Northern Ireland and represents a total investment of approximately £170 million.
“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 is important to Gaelectric that local communities close to the Monnaboy 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 Monnaboy Community Benefit Fund, which has the objective of supporting local community projects within the 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 area. Community projects will be able to access approximately £300,000 over the 25 year lifespan of the project.”
He said the farm was capable of meeting the electricity demand of more than 7,400 homes.
In the last four years, Gaelectric has secured planning approval for nine Northern Ireland wind farm developments.
It has sites in counties Antrim and Londonderry and plans to commission its remaining projects within a year.