Double delight for Galway Wind Park at Irish Wind Industry Awards
Galway Wind Park, Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm, picked up two prestigious awards at the inaugural Irish Wind Industry Awards in Dublin on Friday 25 January.
The 174MW project, co-developed by SSE and Coillte, scooped the trophies for both Community Project of the Year and Project of the Year at a gala dinner in Clontarf Castle.
The Irish Wind Industry Awards, organised by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), have been designed to recognise and celebrate companies and individuals demonstrating originality, innovation and excellence in Ireland’s wind energy sector.
Galway Wind Park was constructed in two phases over a 30-month period from February 2015 to October 2017. The project marked its first full year of generation in October 2018 and is now generating enough renewable energy to power around 140,000 homes, while offsetting over 220,000 tonnes of harmful carbon emissions annually.
SSE and Coillte worked with local community members to create a community programme tailored to the specific social, economic and cultural fabric of the region. During construction, over 100 local businesses provided products and services to facilitate the delivery of Galway Wind Park, with €20m spent directly with suppliers and contractors within 30km of site.
In addition to a multi-million euro Community Fund, which was launched last year, SSE and Coillte have also opened the Galway Wind Way, 48km of onsite recreational walking and cycling trails, available for community members and tourists to enjoy for generations to come.
Reacting to the award wins, SSE Ireland Managing Director, Stephen Wheeler, said:
“We were delighted to pick up two trophies at the first ever Irish Wind Industry Awards. From the outset, SSE, Coillte and the entire Galway Wind Park project team wanted to set new standards for a renewable energy project, both in terms of construction and community engagement. We have to say a huge thank you to the local community for their understanding and support throughout the project. We're extremely proud of the contribution Galway Wind Park is now making to Ireland’s climate action targets, while continuing to make a genuine and lasting difference for the local area.”