Belfast Telegraph

Wind farm to power 6,500 homes generating energy

By Rachel Martin

One of renewable energy company Gaelectric's Londonderry wind farms - capable of powering 6,500 homes - is now operational.

The company's Monnaboy site has been brought into operation and is generating electricity. It's currently in testing to ensure it can generate clean power which can be exported onto the grid, the firm said.

Over the last few months, Gaelectric brought three wind farms with a total capacity of 21MW into operation. The sites include Monnaboy in Co Londonderry, Leabeg in Co Offaly, and Roosky in Co Roscommon.

The £16.8m Monnaboy wind farm, based around four miles from Eglinton, Co Londonderry, is expected to generate enough energy to power 6,500 homes. The site consists of four wind turbines with a blades reaching just over 120 metres.

Over the last four years, the company secured planning approval for eight Northern Ireland sites, including a 42MW wind farm in Dunbeg, Co Londonderry.

Planning permission is currently sought for another two Northern Ireland sites at Ballyhanedin and Tullyneil, with extensions to Carn Hill, Monnaboy and Dunbeg.

The largest site in Dunbeg cost more than £58m and is expected to generate enough electric to power 24,000 homes.

Gaelectric also recently bought over Ballywater Wind Farm in Co Wexford. The site, which was previously owned by the Lanber Group, had been operating for 10 years, and can meet the power needs of more than 27,000 households.

The Gaelectric portfolio now stands at 140MWs in Northern Ireland, representing a total investment of approx £170m.

Tom Nolan, head of corporate finance at Gaelectric, said: "These developments see Gaelectric remain on track to grow its portfolio of operating wind assets to reach our near term goal of 400MW plus by the end of 2017."

Since it was founded in 2004, Gaelectric has developed an extensive portfolio of on-shore renewable energy projects.

The company's first operational wind farm in Northern Ireland, the £20m Carn Hill Wind Farm located in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, was officially opened in May 2013.

Belfast Telegraph