SSE Airtricity presents inaugural Slieve Divena II Community Fund

SSE Airtricity, Northern Ireland’s second largest energy provider, has presented over £43,500 to 16 community groups near its Slieve Divena II Wind Farm in County Tyrone.

This is the inaugural presentation of the Slieve Divena II Wind Farm Community Fund, with the wind farm becoming fully operational last July. The presentation took place in the Kelly’s Inn, Garvaghey Hotel in Dungannon.

A total of 16 local groups received funding, including schools, sports clubs and community associations.

The Sixmilecross Pipe Band is putting the funding towards replacement electric heaters. Jason Kerr, Band Secretary, said: “The most important aspect of replacing the heaters is to improve the hall’s heating efficiency. The new heaters will use substantially less electricity and will have built-in smart-thermostats so that they cut out when the required hall temperature is reached. Also, in the future broadband will be installed, allowing band members to control the time clock from their phones therefore reducing the risk of heaters being left on, which accounts for 15% of the hall’s electricity bill.”

Eskra Childcare Ltd. will be using this year’s contribution to fit energy efficient doors for the nursery. Colette McCarthy, Manager at Eskra Childcare Ltd, said: “We currently have wooden doors which swell in the winter time, these doors lead to our outdoor play areas.  There is also significant heat loss from these doors as the glass is single panel. This funding will have a positive impact on the energy efficiency of our building as we are required to maintain a set temperature. The new doors will prevent heat loss and reduce overall running costs of the business.”

Other projects being supported range from fitting energy-efficient windows, to installing solar panels and energy-efficient lighting.

Anne Reynolds, SSE Airtricity Community Development Officer, commented: 

"We’re delighted to be presenting over £43,500 to 16 forward-thinking and important community projects this year. As always, it’s great to see so much of the funding going towards improvements in energy efficiency, which is a fantastic way to secure long-term sustainability for the community."