Over £175k presented by SSE Airtricity to community groups close to Slieve Kirk Wind Park

SSE Airtricity, Northern Ireland’s largest provider of renewable energy, has presented £177,000 to 53 community groups close to its Slieve Kirk Wind Park in Co. Derry~Londonderry.

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 £1.2m.

This year’s presentation took place at the Beech Hill Country House in Ardmore on Tuesday 7 August, with 53 local groups receiving funding, including schools, sports clubs and community associations.

Glendermott Primary School & Nursery Unit will be putting the funding towards installing solar panels at the school. School Principal Conor Duddy, said: “SSE Airtricity’s funding will greatly contribute to our development plan, while helping the school to save money at the same time. We’re hoping the solar panels will significantly reduce our electricity costs, enabling us to redirect the funds into other important areas for the school. The project will also be a great example for the students of the importance and power of renewable energy.”

The Dry Arch Children’s Centre in Dungiven will be using this year’s contribution to upgrade their light fittings. Brenda Macqueen, Executive Director and Trustee at the Centre, said: “An independent audit of our current lighting system was completed earlier this year, and showed that our lamps use an average of 67 watts per bulb. The funding from SSE Airtricity will allow us to replace the current fittings with energy-efficient LED lights, which use an average of 19 watts per bulb. This will both improve the lighting at the centre, and greatly reduce our bills.”

The majority of the recipient groups are putting this year’s funding towards improving their energy efficiency measures, which SSE Airtricity strongly supports.Other projects being supported range from insulating a new classroom at St. Matthew’s Primary School in Drumsurn, to installing energy-efficient lighting at Caw Community Playgroup, to replacing the windows and doors at Killyclooney Cricket Club.

Anne Reynolds, SSE Airtricity Community Development Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be contributing to so many important and forward-thinking local groups again this year. This latest presentation takes our total contribution in the area to over £1.2m since 2012, and it’s fantastic to see the difference the funding has made in that time. As always, it’s great to see so much of the funding going towards energy efficiency projects, which will hopefully result in significant long-term benefits for the community.”

SSE Airtricity’s Slieve Kirk Wind Park is the largest wind farm in Northern Ireland, producing enough green energy to power over 65,000 homes in the region.