German engineering firm ENERCON is to supply turbines and electrical infrastructure for Gaelectric's Carn Hill wind energy project in Newtownabbey.
The six turbines, which generate 2.3 MW each, will produce enough power to meet the needs of 7,900 homes and will displace around 25,000 tons of CO2 which would have been produced had the same power been produced by burning fossil fuels.Once up and running, the power produced by the wind farm will be sold to Electric Ireland.
"Carn Hill is a strategically important project due to the significant contribution it will make to Gaelectric's portfolio of generating assets and, given its prominent location on an elevated site north of Belfast City, the clear signal it gives to the direction of power market development on the island of Ireland towards renewable energy sources," Gaelectric CEO Brendan McGrath said. "We are obviously delighted to have secured a partner of the standing of ENERCON for such an important wind energy project."
Carn Hill is part of the first phase of Gaelectric's onshore wind portfolio in Ireland which will see a total of £200m invested by 2016. Gaelectric is one of Ireland's largest developers of wind energy projects with an onshore portfolio comprising short and medium-term development projects totally 164 MW, of which 137 MW is located in Northern Ireland. The group has a further 170 MW of longer-term development assets distributed between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Gaelectric recently appointed RBC Capital Markets as strategic investment advisers on the roll- out of its onshore portfolio of wind energy projects on the island of Ireland.
Mr McGrath said: "Our wind energy business has reached a stage of maturity where it makes sense for us to seek a strategic partner to help us build out our projects. We are delighted to be working with RBC Capital Markets in our engagement with such partners."