SSE Renewables and Greencoat Renewables awarded over €235,00 to community groups close to Galway Wind Park through the new Local Community Fund for Ireland’s largest wind farm.

The Local Fund represents around 50% of the overall Galway Wind Park Community Fund which, at over €450,000 this year, is the largest of its kind in the country. In addition to the Local Fund, the Community Fund also includes a Major Projects Fund, supporting larger-scale projects in the area, and a Scholarship Fund for local students.

The second annual Local Fund presentation took place at the Boat Inn, on Monday, 30 September with a total of 83 local groups receiving funding for projects focused on energy efficiency, safety, environmental sustainability, social sustainability, recreation and tourism, and education and skills development.

Oughterard Community Centre will be putting the funding towards energy efficient measures for the Centre. Maeve Kavanagh, Corrib Gym Manager at Oughterard Community Centre, said: “The funding from Galway Wind Park will allow us to upgrade our Centre and lower our energy consumption. The installation of a new sliding door will reduce our heating loss and we’ll also upgrade to energy efficient light bulbs throughout the centre.”

Meanwhile, Tearmann Éanna CTR will be using the contribution from Galway Wind Park to upgrade the doors in 11 houses for their senior citizens who reside in social housing units. Peigí Uí Cheidigh, Bainisteoir at Tearmann Éanna, commented: “We’re delighted with the funding from SSE Renewables and Greencoat Renewables, which will help upgrade the doors to energy efficient doors in some of our housing and also  the new modern doors  will be more secure with 10 point locking bolts, creating and safe and comfortable home for the senior citizens in our locality for years to come.”

Other projects being supported range from an environmental clean-up for Collinamuck & District Angling Club, to energy-efficiency improvements at Clann Family Resource Centre, to building upgrades at the Down Syndrome Ireland community hub in Connemara.

 Anne Reynolds, Galway Wind Park Community Development Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be contributing to so many important and forward-thinking local projects in the Local Community Fund. As part of our commitment to Galway Wind Park being a best-in-class project, and in line with our core values at SSE Renewables and Greencoat Renewables, we want to make a genuine and lasting difference for local people and organisations. We’re proud to have presented over €235,000 to 86 groups in this year’s presentation, and we’re looking forward to helping many more community projects in the years ahead.”

The 174MW Galway Wind Park, co-developed by SSE Renewables and Greencoat Renewables is Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm, generating enough renewable energy to power around 140,000 homes, while offsetting roughly 289,000 tonnes of harmful carbon emissions annually.