First turbine goes up at Galway Wind Park

The 169MW Galway Wind Park project being co-developed by SSE and Coillte has reached a major milestone, with the first turbine now fully installed at Phase 1 of the two-phase project site. A number of the other turbines in this phase are partially assembled, with the bases and mid-towers installed.

Galway Wind Park is a two-phase project which, when completed in autumn 2017, will be the largest onshore wind farm in Ireland. Phase 1 (64MW) entered construction in February 2015 and is owned and financed by SSE, while Phase 2 (105MW) is a 50/50 joint venture between SSE and Ireland’s commercial state forestry company, Coillte. Turbine installation on Phase 2 is due to commence from November and all turbines are expected to be installed by mid-2017.

The project’s turbine supplier, Siemens, is currently delivering turbine components to the site. The top section of the turbines (the nacelle), as well as the blades, hub and internal components are produced in Denmark, while the turbine towers are manufactured in China and Vietnam.

As part of Coillte and SSE’s commitment to the local economy, Galway Harbour is playing a key role in this phase of the project. The nacelles, hubs, blades and other ancillary turbine components are being shipped to Galway Harbour, while the larger tower components will be transported to the site from Foynes, Co. Limerick. The deliveries are taking place in the early hours of the morning to minimise traffic and disruption to local residents.

Captain Bob Ellis, Deputy Harbour Master at Galway Harbour, said: “Being able to undertake this project is very important to the ongoing sustainability of Galway Harbour. Economically, the Galway Wind Park project will account for a significant portion of the Harbour’s marine income over the next two years. It is also making a major contribution to employment, allowing us to grow our existing workforce and create up to 25 more jobs locally over the timeframe of the delivery programme. Additionally, further employment is being created from ancillary and supplementary services that the harbour uses.

“As a harbour authority we have ambitious plans to develop new port facilities for Galway which would, for instance, facilitate the delivery of all turbine components including larger scale units direct into the region. Through our partnership with Galway Wind Park we’re clearly demonstrating the strategic opportunity that renewable energy presents for Galway Harbour and the West to become a key player in the delivery of major renewable energy projects.”

Galway Wind Park is a wind farm cluster that consists of four wind farms – Cloosh, Lettercraffroe, Seecon and Uggool. When operational it will have the capacity to generate enough green energy to power around 84,000* homes, equivalent to almost 90% of the homes in Co. Galway.

* Homes powered calculations based on typical annual consumptions in All-Island Single Electricity Market (as of 1 June 2016) and 1year average recorded capacity factor of SSE wind farms operating on the island, April 2015 - March 2016. Historic figures quoted are for guideline purposes only – actual future performance may vary.