SSE Airtricity report reveals €5m windfall for rural Ireland

Members of the Windmill Players Drama Group from Templeboy, Co. Sligo, celebrate the launch of the new ‘Energising Communities in Rural Ireland’ report. This year, SSE Airtricity funding contributed to the purchase of new state-of-the-art stage lighting for the Windmill Players. (Photo by Steve Rogers Photography at SSE Airtricity’s Dunneill Wind Farm in Co. Sligo)

- €5 million contributed to communities from SSE Airtricity wind farms since 2008 -

- Over €700,000 awarded last year alone -

SSE Airtricity, Ireland’s largest renewable energy provider, has unveiled a new report showing that the company has awarded over €5 million to community groups local to its Irish wind farms.

The new report, titled ‘Energising Communities in Rural Ireland’, looks back on the community funding awarded by SSE Airtricity last year, as well as its overall contribution since 2008.

Through SSE Airtricity’s Community Fund programme, the company makes annual contributions to community groups in the vicinity of its wind farms across Ireland.

The company has been awarding funds through its Community Fund programme since 2008, and so far the company has presented over €5 million to local groups, including schools, sports clubs and community associations. This means that SSE Airtricity is Ireland’s largest single contributor of funding to rural communities from wind energy.

In the company’s last financial year (April 1– March 31), it awarded over €700,000 to 247 projects across rural Ireland, with over half a million euro going towards projects to improve energy efficiency. Examples of community projects that received funding last year include insulation of community buildings, installation of solar panels, replacements of windows and doors, and upgrades to energy-efficient lighting.

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Airtricity, said:

“We’re extremely proud to have awarded over €5m in community funding since 2008, and this new report aims to show our ongoing commitment to the communities local to our wind farms. We strongly believe in playing our part by contributing to the social, environmental and economic well-being of local communities, and our Community Fund programme is designed to do just that.

“We were delighted to see so much of the money going towards energy efficiency projects last year, which are a great way for local groups to make savings, while ultimately leading to a greener and more sustainable environment for the whole community. I look forward to seeing more fantastic local projects being supported this year, and into the future.”

SSE Airtricity’s wind farms in Ireland have a total export capacity of around 645 megawatts. The company is also currently constructing the 169 megawatt Galway Wind Park project in partnership Coillte which, when completed later this year, will be Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm. The Galway Wind Park Community Fund will be Ireland’s largest wind farm community fund. The first grants are due to be awarded in early 2018.

To view the report in full, click on the link below:

Energising Communities in Rural Ireland - Community Funds Annual Review 2016/17