SSE Renewables and Coillte jointly detail plans for Drumnahough Wind Farm

SSE Renewables and Coillte Renewable Energy have today, 18 May 2020, announced further detail on their proposed plans for a 60MW wind farm development at Drumnahough, Co. Donegal.

During construction, Drumnahough Wind Farm will generate approximately 60 jobs. Once operational the wind farm will generate enough green energy to power 40,000 homes and offset almost 50,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually^. A multimillion community benefit fund will also be launched to support local groups and projects close to the wind farm.

The proposed development is in the rural upland area of central Donegal, approximately 13km South-West of Letterkenny and near the existing Meentycat Wind Farm. It will consist of 12 wind turbines, generating around 60MW of renewable energy dependent on final turbine selection. Subject to planning approval, it is expected that construction work on the wind farm will commence in summer 2023 and that it will be fully operational in late 2024.

The project represents a capital investment of around €60 million by the co-developers, SSE Renewables and Coillte. This spend will help support the regional supply chain through the use of local contractors and suppliers where possible, including hotels, shops and cafés among others. In addition, a sponsorship fund will be initially available during the pre-construction and construction phases of the wind farm. 

Over the lifetime of the project many millions of euro in annual commercial rates will be made to Donegal County Council, contributing substantial funds to local services.   Additionally, a multimillion community benefit fund will be launched to support local groups and organisations for the expected lifetime of the wind farm. The community fund focuses on projects that enhance energy efficiency, sustainability, education and climate action initiatives.   Further details on the Community Benefit Fund will be available prior to the commencement of construction.

In advance of submitting a planning application for the proposed project, the co-development partners are inviting local communities to review current information on the wind farm, ask questions, and submit feedback. Information about the proposed development is currently being distributed to around 200 homes and businesses located close to the site, as well as to local elected representatives and others with an interest in the project. Interested members of the public can also find out more online by visiting a dedicated project website, www.Drumnahough.com.

Project Manager Shane Liddy said: “At SSE Renewables we have a long-standing presence in the heart of Donegal through the operation of our existing Meentycat and Culliagh wind farms. We have a dedicated, full-time wind operations team in the region, we actively back local supply chain businesses to support the daily operations of our wind farms, and we have contributed over €1million so far in funding to support local groups.”

“Now, with the planned Drumnahough Wind Farm, we want to expand our support for the local economy and good causes, while helping to deliver new renewable energy generation that will meet our local, regional and national climate change goals. Together with our co-development project partners, Coillte, we are delighted to be able to outline details of our plans for a proposed new wind farm at Drumnahough, and we encourage everyone in the local community to get involved and have their say on the project in the coming weeks.”

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^Total annual homes powered quoted based on projected capacity, typical wind load factor of 32%, and typical annual consumption (4,200kWh). Quoted CO2 emissions abated based on projected annual MWh output and latest average CO2 Emissions (0.291t/MWh) in the All-Island Single Electricity Market and published by the CRU in its Fuel Mix Disclosure and CO2 Emissions for 2018, September 2019.