Construction starts on £58 million wind farm
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.