Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton, has hailed the renewable energy benefits, job creation and community investment at the official opening of Gaelectric’s £58 million Dunbeg wind farm, which is located between Coleraine and Limavady.
Dunbeg is Gaelectric’s second operating wind farm in Northern Ireland and is one of the largest wind farms ever constructed in the Province.
Finance Minister Simon Hamilton welcomed the project: “Renewable energy plays an important role in diversifying our energy mix in Northern Ireland and over the last decade, the investment by Gaelectric has contributed to Northern Ireland’s renewable generation portfolio.
“As well as helping to reduce our carbon emissions, wind farms such as this create jobs and generate investment – this contribution is to be welcomed.
“I am also encouraged that in excess of £3million will be invested in local community funds as a result of this and other Gaelectric projects in Northern Ireland.”
Brendan McGrath, Gaelectric Group CEO, said: “This official opening marks a major milestone for our business and further strengthens Gaelectric’s platform in the energy market.
“Our total permitted portfolio now stands at 140MWs in Northern Ireland and represents a total investment of approximately £170 million.
“The launch of Dunbeg is a fitting way to mark our 10 years in existence and a tribute to our internal team and our technology and funding partners who have made this happen.”
Patrick McClughan, Gaelectric’s Head of Corporate Affairs, and chair of the Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) adds: “It is important to Gaelectric that local communities close to the Dunbeg wind farm have the opportunity to share in the social and economic benefits of this renewable energy development.
“To ensure this happens in a tangible way we have launched the Dunbeg Community Benefit Fund, which has the objective of supporting local community projects within the Aghanloo area. Independently administered and managed on behalf of Gaelectric by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, the Fund will provide grant support of between £500 and £5,000 to local community and voluntary groups which are delivering projects that support community cohesion in the Aghanloo area.”