| 6.1°C Belfast

More green energy in the pipeline

A major renewables company is to set up shop in Belfast, galvanising the region's new reputation as a centre for green energy.

Over the last 18 months Gaelectric has secured full planning approval for four Northern Ireland windfarm developments in Co Antrim, Co Londonderry and two in Co Tyrone.

The four projects will represent a total investment of around £110m and will create about 130 construction jobs.

Gaelectric has a further five windfarm proposals in the planning system - one in Co Tyrone, two in Co Antrim and two in Co Derry.

The firm is also developing a compressed air energy storage facility in Larne.

Seven people will be working in the company's new technical office at Clarendon Quay, Belfast.

Patrick McClughan, Gaelectric's commercial manager in Northern Ireland, said that the firm is embarking on an important new phase.

"The windfarms will not only provide a significant boost to Northern Ireland's renewable energy capacity, but they will also generate jobs," he said.

"In addition, these projects will support increased workforce skills and provide economic activity to the local areas.

"Gaelectric has completed an extensive consultation programme to update local communities on the projects and locally administered community funds will be established to support community initiatives in the area."

Mike Denny, chief operations officer at Gaelectric, added: "We have been greatly encouraged by the significant support we have received from the Northern Ireland Executive, which clearly recognises the benefits associated with developing sustainable renewable energy channels.

"Opening an office in Belfast was the next logical step."