Two Northern Irish wind farms to inject combined £38 million into local economy
by RES | Mar 25, 2021 | Reading time: 3 min
— RES expects arrival of first turbines at Evishagaran and Craiggore wind farms this spring —
Two Northern Irish wind farms are set to boost the local economy by £38 million and will soon be up and running, with turbines arriving this spring.
Construction work at Craiggore and Evishagaran wind farms, owned by ERG, began at the start of 2020 and a host of local companies have helped construct the wind farms since. With the civil construction works now substantially complete at both sites, near Limavady, they are ready for turbines to be delivered and installed, starting in the spring.
Not only will the wind farms provide 70.3W of clean, low cost renewable energy to the grid, the projects will also continue to have a significant positive impact on the local economy and community once operational.
Fergal Duffy, Contracts Manager at RES, said: “From the beginning, we wanted to support the Northern Irish economy as much as possible during construction. We’ve been really impressed with the highly skilled and experienced businesses that exist locally and their work is helping us create two infrastructure projects of the highest quality.
“The two wind farms will also support the local area through a Community Benefit Fund once they become operational and we’re looking forward to seeing what good work the benefit fund will support.”
The 23.5MW Craiggore Wind Farm is expected to start exporting electricity by the end of the year with its 10 turbines providing enough electricity to power around 21,500 households. Evishagaran’s 13 turbines are expected to start powering homes around the same time, generating 46.8MW of clean energy for approximately 50,000 homes.
It’s estimated that by the end of the construction phase businesses will benefit from around £20 million of work, with construction managers RES committed to using local companies who benefit from local knowledge and expertise.
Omagh-based civils contractors Adman Civil Engineering Ltd and Alexander Mills Contracts Limited and Belfast-based electrical contractor Omexom have all been appointed for the projects and will continue to work with other local companies wherever practical. Local community groups will also benefit from a community fund worth more than £4.5million and eligible residents will benefit from the Local Electricity Discount Scheme.
During the operational life of the wind farms, as a local business they will also pay significant business rates to Causeway, Coast and Glens Borough Council. It’s estimated that the amount will be approximately £522,000 per annum or £13.78 million over the lifetime of the projects, supporting the council to deliver the strategic outcomes identified in the Causeway Coast & Glens Community Plan.
Jude McCloskey, Director at Macan Developments, said: “Craiggore Wind Farm promises to bring many benefits to our area so as a local company, it’s great to be involved in its development.
“We work on the control building for the project and, as we are a small company, I act as a foreman, bringing in local subcontractors like plumbers and electricians at various stages of the project. We’ve brought in around 20 local subcontractors over the course of the development to ensure that everything was ready for the turbines’ arrival.
“This is my second project with RES and they have been a pleasure to work with – the project team has been really helpful and supportive of local businesses as well as the local community.”
RES is the world’s largest independent renewable energy company active in onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage and transmission and distribution. At the forefront of the industry for over 39 years, RES has delivered more than 19 GW of renewable energy projects across the globe and supports an operational asset portfolio exceeding 7 GW worldwide for a large client base. Understanding the unique needs of corporate clients, RES has secured 1.5GW of power purchase agreements (PPAs) enabling access to energy at the lowest cost. RES employs more than 3,000 people and is active in 10 countries.
ERG is a leading renewable energy business in Italy and among the top ten onshore wind operators in Europe. Their headquarters are in Genoa, Italy, and they currently operate approx. 2GW of wind assets across seven European countries. The UK is one of ERG’s priority markets: they have four onshore wind projects with a combined capacity of around 250MW under construction in Scotland and Northern Ireland and are committed to further growth. Besides wind, ERG also have solar and hydro assets, and a high-efficiency CCGT plant running on natural gas, employing overall about 780 people.
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