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Construction starts on £58 million wind farm

Example of Enercon turbine from Gaelectric wind farm at Carn Hill Newtownabbey Pic 2
Example of Enercon turbine from Gaelectric wind farm at Carn Hill Newtownabbey.
Rebecca Kincade on January 22, 2014 - 1:04 pm in News

Renewable energy and energy storage group, Gaelectric, has started construction of its 42MW wind farm site at Dunbeg, Co. Derry. The site is located near the A37 mid-way between Limavady and Coleraine.

Dunbeg will be one of the more significant wind farm developments on the island of Ireland and will generate sufficient renewable power to meet the electricity demand of 24,000 homes. The total investment at Dunbeg will amount to Stg£58 million. The development will consist of 14 Enercon wind turbines with a maximum hub height of 80 metres and a maximum blade diameter of 90 metres.  Preliminary works commenced towards the end of 2013 and the wind farm is due to be fully operational by mid 2014.

Patrick McClughan, Gaelectric’s Commercial Manager in Northern Ireland:“The Dunbeg wind farm development is the latest in a portfolio of renewable energy projects that Gaelectric is progressing in Northern Ireland. Gaelectric plans to invest £600 million in Northern Ireland in renewable energy generation and energy storage over the next 3 years. During 2013 Gaelectric raised £160 million in funding across its portfolio and will continue to raise finance to support the roll out of its project development programme. The commencement of construction of our Dunbeg site marks yet another milestone for our business in Northern Ireland and further strengthens Gaelectric’s platform in the energy market.

“Dunbeg will not only provide a significant boost to Northern Ireland’s renewable energy capacity, it will also generate jobs, support increased workforce skills and provide economic activity in the area.”

Mr McClughan added:  “Gaelectric has completed an extensive consultation programme to update local communities on the Dunbeg project and a locally administered community fund in the region of £1million will be established to support community projects in the area.”

Gaelectric recently reaffirmed its commitment to Northern Ireland with the expansion of its Belfast Technical office. The company also officially opened its first operational wind farm in Northern Ireland in May 2013. The £20million Carn Hill wind farm is located near Newtownabbey, Co Antrim.

Gaelectric has secured full planning approval for nine Northern Ireland wind farm developments (including Carn Hill and Dunbeg) in the last three years. In total, these nine wind farms will give Gaelectric circa 123MW of consented projects in Northern Ireland and represent a total investment of approx £170million. Gaelectric’s programme is to commission this near-term portfolio by 2017.

Gaelectric is currently progressing 200 MW of wind energy projects on the island of Ireland and is leading the field in energy storage with the development of a unique Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) facility at Larne, Co. Antrim. Due to its unique geology Larne has the potential to be at the cutting edge of energy storage using CAES technology.  This energy storage facility will maximise the potential of renewable energy, whilst helping to stabilise electricity prices and emissions of Green House Gases.  Development of the proposed CAES plant will involve an investment of up to £300 million over a three-year period, providing significant employment across the construction and engineering services sectors.


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  • January 22, 2014

    I wonder if the electricity demand of the 24,000 homes quoted above is based on the installed nameplate capacity? If so it is well documented that the actual output from the turbines is around 25% of this (being very generous), meaning that this wind farm – that costs £4.1m per turbine will meet the annual demand of only 6,000 homes (again very vague what type of home, with what level of consumption).
    The Dept of Energy and Climate Change has published its reports on renewables- and wind in particular is not delivering.
    Simply put, it is unfeasible. In 2012 the UK got 0.96% of its electricity generation from onshore wind- it cost us £1.2billion.
    Community benefits are touted, with groups jumping for the crumbs from the table- giving this industry some credibility meanwhile the communities living closest to the turbines are decimated with families and neighbours falling out.
    Our Energy responsibilities are very real, but Wind Turbines are a case of “the Emperors New Clothes”, with some our political leaders uneducated and scared to make a call on it, and others seem a little too interested in promoting it.
    The job creation that this industry has also been studied with the Verso Economics study done in Scotland reporting that for every Green job created, 3.7 jobs are lost in relation to it.
    Wind Energy companies are the new gold prospectors- in to make a quick buck and a killing at the expense of the indigenous people and environment.
    We have now made our energy so expensive (in part due to the payment of subsidies to this industry) that our manufacturing has all but disappeared, mainly gone to places like China and India where new coal fired power generation plants are opening weekly, globally our CO2 levels have increased (35% in 10 years), but as long as -locally we have reduced our production by 63m tonnes this is acceptable??? Do we not all live on the same planet?
    China is where we get the rare earth metals that some turbines can have up to half a ton of, Greenpeace has quoted that, “there is not one step of the rare earth mining process that is not disastrous for the environment”. I urge people to look this up on youtube, see what is really being done to our environment cynically in the name of saving it!
    And here we have it reported as the saviour of job industry and of our environment, it should be renamed Greed Energy!

    • January 22, 2014

      Completely agree with every point you make. This has to be one of the greatest follies ever imposed on our beautiful countryside, all for the greed of a few.
      I despair.

    • January 24, 2014

      Are off shore wind farms much better?

      • January 27, 2014

        Thank You Sandy for agreeing with my points.
        Jordan- Off-Shore wind farms are much more expensive to build and maintain- the sea air environment presents it own unique challenges, therefore most energy developers usually do not look at this as an option until other options have been investigated.
        A resource that costs so much yet actually delivers so little is, as stated above, simply unfeasible.
        If you really wish to learn more about our energy issues and the problems with Wind, I would say spend some time to look at this book- a real eyeopener:

    • June 23, 2014

      Well done, totally agree with you. For the greedy will destroy the earth! They will do dirty deals for greed, fight wars for greed, pollute for greed,impoverish nations for greed, etc,etc,etc. The list is endless! Man`s cruelty of the world and Life both human and animal, knows no bounds!