£16.8m Monnaboy wind farm officially opens
Gaelectric has officially opened its £16.8m wind farm at Monnaboy on Loughermore Mountain in Co Londonderry.
The site is located approximately six kilometres south-east of Eglinton and approximately 12.5km south-east of the city.
Monnaboy is Gaelectric’s third operating wind farm in Northern Ireland. The company is progressing through a programme to construct and commission a near term portfolio of approximately 100MWs on consented wind energy projects on the island of Ireland by 2017.
The 12 Megawatt wind farm, which comprises four Enercon wind turbines, will generate sufficient green renewable power to meet the electricity demand of over 7436 homes on an annual basis.
Monnaboy windfarm has created over 25 full-time and part-time jobs to date during its development and construction phase.
Patrick McClughan, Head of Corporate Affairs for Gaelectric Developments Ltd, commented: “This official opening marks yet another important milestone for our business and further strengthens Gaelectric’s platform in the energy market.
“Our total permitted portfolio now stands at 140MWs in Northern Ireland and represents a total investment of approximately £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.”
McClughan added: “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.”
In the last four years, Gaelectric has secured planning approval for nine Northern Ireland wind farm developments.
The company’s first operational windfarm in Northern Ireland, the £20m Carn Hill Wind Farm located in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim was officially opened in May 2013.
The second project to be completed was the £58m Dunbeg wind farm, located between Limavady and Coleraine, and was officially launched in November 2014.
Gaelectric plans to commission its remaining Northern Ireland wind farm projects by March 2017.