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Proposed £150m Sperrins wind farm moves a step closer

By Staff Reporter

Northern Ireland's biggest wind farm may be a step closer after energy giant SSE filed an environmental statement in support of their Co Tyrone project.

The £150m wind farm at Doraville in the Sperrins would power 85,000 homes, SSE said.

The firm added that out of its £150m spend on the development near Draperstown, around £50m would be secured by businesses here involved in the construction of the development.

The energy company also told how the wind farm represented its biggest single capital investment in Northern Ireland.

SSE submitted its planning application for the project in June this year.

It said a consultation with the community had found that 53% of respondents were in favour of the development.

An earlier consultation resulted in the number of planned turbines being reduced from 42 to 36 to allay concerns.

Paul Cooley, director of renewables for SSE, said: "We are breaking new ground in delivering a sustainable investment that will not only inject £150m into the Northern Ireland economy during construction, but that will also contribute a long-term investment into the community."

Over its projected 25-year lifespan, the wind farm would contribute more than £100m in gross value-added spend, as well as £50m in community funds and rate payments, Mr Cooley said.

He added that the project was more valuable to the local economy than any development suggested in the past.

But campaign group, West Tyrone Against Wind Farms, warned the Sperrins could become caged in a "ring of steel" if planners decided to give more wind farms the go-ahead.

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