Major New Irish Wind Farms Come Online

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

The power grid in Ireland and Northern Ireland has received a major green energy boost this week, after three wind power projects came online.

Gaelectric will today officially open the Inishative and Cregganconroe wind farms in Northern Ireland, which together will deliver 27.6MW of renewable power capacity.

The announcement came just days after SSE announced the first phase of its giant 169MW Galway Wind Park project has been officially completed and is now fully operational.

The Gaelectric developments follow over £41m of investment in the two projects.

They mark the latest phase in the company’s plan to deliver approximately 400MW 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 Ltd. “Our total permitted portfolio now stands at 140MWs in Northern Ireland and represents a total investment of approx £170m.”

The company’s expanding wind energy portfolio also complements its plans to develop a Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) facility in Larne, Co. Antrim, which promises to store energy as compressed air in caverns specially engineered for the purpose.

The news follows SSE’s announcement that 22 turbines boasting 66MW of capacity have come online at the Comhlacht Gaoithe Teoranta (CGT) Galway Wind Park project.

“Phase one is an impressive wind farm in its own right, and its completion is a major milestone in the context of the overall Galway Wind Park project,” said James O’Hara, SSE’s Project Manager for Galway Wind Park.

The second phase of the project, which unlike the first phase is owned by a 50/50 joint venture between SSE and forestry company Coillte, is due to be completed later this year.

SSE said once completed the project will be Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm, and will help cut emissions by around 190,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, while providing clean energy to almost 80 per cent of the homes in Co. Galway.

The announcements follow news earlier this week that Greencoat Renewables Plc announced plans to list on the London and Irish Stock Exchanges, as it seeks to raise up to €250m to support expansion plans primarily focused on the Irish wind energy market.