Ireland's largest ever wind farm opens in Donegal

Donegal windfarm can power up 50,000 homes

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Ireland's largest ever wind farm opens in Donegal

Left to right, The Mayor of Donegal Town, Patricia Callaghan, Peter Baillie, managing director, Energia Renewables and Ian Thom, Group CEO, Viridian Group.

Ireland’s largest windfarm officially opened this morning following a €145m investment by Energia at Meenadreen in south Donegal. 

The new windfarm was formally opened by Ian Thom, Group Chief Executive of Energia’s parent company Viridian Group and Peter Bailie, Managing Director of Energia Renewables, together with the Mayor of Donegal Town, Patricia Callaghan.

Over 250 children from local primary schools will today tour the new facility marking Global Wind Day 2017.

The new Meenadreen windfarm is among the most technologically advanced generating facilities in the world with 38 turbines producing 95 Megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Each turbine stands 115 metres high with a rotor diameter of 90 metres generating power from strong wind pathways in the area.  As Energia’s newest windfarm, Meenadreen alone can power up to 50,000 homes using wind energy which will reduce Ireland’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 100,000 tonnes each year.

Energia has announced the funding of €95,000 for a third phase of its Meenadreen Community Fund, which has already invested €45,000 to date in projects of benefit to local communities throughout the surrounding region. The fund is independently administered by Community Foundation Ireland.

Energia has also successfully completed a pilot project for autonomous drone inspections through predetermined flight paths around the turbines. The new drone capability has the potential to automatically identify snags or defects and helps to enhance overall efficiency and safety on site.

"Green electricity"

Energia will use power from Meenadreen to supply green electricity to homes and SMEs all over Ireland.  The company is now also one of the country’s leading providers of sustainable green energy and 25% of all wind generated electricity in Ireland is provided through Energia. Energia has invested over €500m in wind farms since 2008.  

The Meenadreen windfarm has 38 Nordex N90 2.5MW turbines.  Taking just over 2 years to complete, its development by Energia Renewables was financed by loans from NordLB supported by Euler Hermes. Construction was carried out by Denis Moriarty “The Kerries” Limited and electrical works by Kirby Group limited. Engineering services were provided by Wind Prospect and Jennings O’Donovan, with legal support from Arthur Cox.

Ian Thom, Group Chief Executive of Viridian, said “Energia is helping to achieve Ireland’s renewable energy targets through our major renewable energy portfolio where we provide electricity from wind farms all over Ireland.

 “We are proud to bring Ireland’s largest windfarm onto the national grid to power homes and businesses all over the island with naturally and sustainably produced electricity.”

Peter Baillie, Managing Director of Energia Renewables said,“This is an internationally prestigious development which is contributing to economic growth and the wellbeing of communities across the island of Ireland through the clean and efficient production of renewable energy. We look forward to our continuing partnership with our neighbouring communities through the Meenadreen Community Fund. We will also be a continuing contributor of local authority rates for the lifespan of the windfarm which will be a minimum of 25 years.”

Energia expressed its strong appreciation to the local community for their support and co-operation with the company as it set about developing the new windfarm.

**Pictured above: At the official opening of Energia's new 95 megawatt windfarm at Meenadreen, County Donegal are, Left to right, The Mayor of Donegal Town, Patricia Callaghan, Peter Baillie, managing director, Energia Renewables and Ian Thom, Group CEO, Viridian Group. Energia has invested €145 million in the new wind farm and also announced a €95,000 investment in a third phase of the Meenadreen Community Fund.