SSE Airtricity presents over £176,000 to community groups around its Slieve Kirk Wind Park

SSE Airtricity, Northern Ireland’s largest renewable energy provider, has handed out more than £176,000 to community groups close to its Slieve Kirk Wind Park in Co. Derry~Londonderry.

This year’s presentation took place at the Beechill Country House in Ardmore on Thursday 25th August. A total of 41 community groups will benefit from the £176,680 fund, including schools, sports clubs and community centres.

Through its Community Fund programme, SSE Airtricity makes annual contributions to community groups in the vicinity of its wind farms. The company has been donating to local projects around Slieve Kirk Wind Park since 2012, and this latest presentation takes its overall contribution in the region to over £930,000.

The Rural Area Partnership in Derry (RAPID) will be using the funding to install new windows to improve energy efficiency. Una Cooper, Programme Manager at RAPID, said: “With support from SSE Airtricity, RAPID has been able to carry out extensive energy efficiency improvements in a disused part of our premises. This area is now being used as a community training hub. This year’s funding will enable us to further improve our energy efficiency by installing new windows at the front of the building.”

City of Derry Rugby Club is putting this year’s contribution towards energy efficient pitch lighting. Ian Stone, Vice Chairman - Finance and Marketing, commented: “The funding from SSE Airtricity will make a big difference to our club. Our pitches are used throughout the winter months, and floodlighting is required from September to March for our evening programmes and community activities. Investing in energy efficient pitch lighting will reduce our energy output by around 12,500kw annually, which translates to decreasing our yearly electricity bills by 62%.”

The majority of the recipient groups are putting this latest funding towards improving their energy efficiency measures, which SSE Airtricity strongly supports.Other projects being supported range from wall and loft insulation at Cumber Claudy Community Association and Alla Paris Community Group, to installing solar panels at John Mitchel’s GAC, Dromboughil Community Association and Kildoag Cultural Society.

Anne Reynolds, SSE Airtricity Community Development Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be awarding this year’s funding to 41 forward-thinking and deserving local groups. It’s great to see so much of the money going towards improvements in energy efficiency, which will help to reduce heating bills and ultimately lead to a greener and more sustainable environment for the whole community. We’ve now donated over £930,000 to local projects near Slieve Kirk Wind Park, in line with our continued commitment to the communities closest to our wind farms.”

SSE Airtricity’s Slieve Kirk Wind Park has a total capacity of 73MW and produces enough green energy to power over 65,000 homes in the region.