New Local Community Fund to be launched for Galway Wind Park

- €200,000 available for local community projects this year alone - 

- Information evenings in Roscahill and Oughterard on 27 and 28 February –

SSE and Coillte are set to launch their new Local Community Fund for Galway Wind Park, following a community consultation and feedback process last year.

Galway Wind Park, located in Cloosh Valley, Connemara, was completed last October and is now Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm, generating enough renewable energy to power every home in Galway city and county.

The Local Community Fund, which will total around €200,000 in its first year, is available for community projects located within 20km of the wind park, with special preference given to those located within 5km. The Fund places a particular emphasis on projects focused on energy efficiency, sustainability, safety, tourism and recreation, due to the lasting benefits they have for the community.

The Local Community Fund represents roughly 50% of the overall Galway Wind Park Community Fund, which totals €400,000 this year. Two further elements of the programme, a Major Projects fund and a Scholarship fund, are due to be launched later in 2018.

In advance of the Local Fund opening on 1 March, SSE and Coillte are inviting community members to two information evenings to find out more.

The first event will be held on Tuesday 27 February in the Killannin Community Centre, Rosscahill, with a second taking place on Wednesday 28 February at The Boat Inn, Main Street, Oughterard, both from 4-8pm. Galway Wind Park team members will be on hand at both events to provide more information, and answer any queries.

Marian Troy, Head of Corporate Affairs at SSE Ireland, said:

“We’re delighted to be launching the Local Community Fund, which is the first of three aspects of our community funding programme to be opened this year. As part of our commitment to Galway Wind Park being a best-in-class project, and in line with our core values at SSE and Coillte, we want to make a genuine and lasting difference for local people and organisations. It was great to receive feedback on the Fund from so many community members during the consultation period, and we’re now looking forward to supporting many important local projects in the years ahead.”

Andy Fox, Community Engagement Manager at Coillte, commented:

“We hope that community groups are able to join us for these information evenings as they will provide a valuable space to familiarise themselves with the application process and discuss their project plans with the team. Coillte, with our Joint Venture partner SSE, are committed to continually strengthening our involvement in local communities to bring about sustainable positive change.”

The application period for the Galway Wind Park Local Community Fund opens on Thursday 1 March and closes on Thursday 12 April.