The 169MW Galway Wind Park, co-developed by SSE and Coillte in Connemara, has entered commercial operation and is now Ireland’s largest and best performing wind farm, generating more green energy than any other wind farm on the island.
It is predicted to generate enough green energy to power almost 150,000 Irish homes.
Galway Wind Park has been developed by SSE and Coillte, costing over €280m, with €90m contributed to Irish GDP during construction, and €20m spent with local suppliers and contractors.
The power generated at Galway Wind Park will be now provided to SSE’s retail arm SSE Airtricity.
Located south-west of Oughterard, Galway Wind Park comprises 58 Siemens 3MW wind turbines, each rated to the highest international standard and specifically engineered for the prevailing wind conditions at the Connemara site to optimise generation output performance.
In a typical year, the green energy produced at Galway Wind Park will offset over 220,000 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions.
Galway Wind Park will boast a multi-million euro community fund aimed at recognising the support, cooperation and needs of local people.
The fund, currently being designed by SSE and Coillte in consultation with local communities, will be launched in the coming months and will operate for the lifetime of the wind farm.
Galway Wind Park is one of four wind farms that Coillte, along with its partners, has invested €400m in over the last 18 months and brings Coillte’s operational wind portfolio to over 200MW.
Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director, SSE Ireland, said: “The development of Galway Wind Park demonstrates how two industry leaders can join forces to deliver the country’s largest onshore wind farm.
“As Ireland’s largest single generator and provider of renewable energy, we’re extremely proud at SSE that Galway Wind Park will make the biggest single contribution of any renewable energy site towards greening our national energy supply and decarbonising power generation across the island.
“We’re equally proud that over its lifetime Galway Wind Park will help transform the local and regional economy and communities through a multi-million euro community fund.”
Fergal Leamy, Chief Executive, Coillte, said that the landmark project is a great example of two companies partnering to maximise the value of their assets and expertise.
“We are proud that Galway Wind Park supports the economic development of local communities, including the provision of a multi-million benefit fund.
“As the largest wind farm in Ireland it supports our commitment to mitigation of climate change and Coillte’s stated ambition to develop over 1GW of renewable energy to power a million houses annually,” Mr Leamy said.