Coillte and ESB to develop wind farm


TWO STATE companies are joining forces to develop a €50 million wind farm in Wicklow.

State forestry company Coillte and ESB Wind Development say they have been given planning permission for a joint venture to develop a wind farm with the capacity to generate up to 27.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity at Raheenleagh, Co Wicklow.

Coillte and the ESB have a 50- 50 share in the project, which they say will generate enough electricity to supply 17,000 homes.

The project will involve 11 wind turbines with a capacity of 2.5MW each. On the basis of an industry standard of €2 million for every megawatt, the wind farm will require a €55 million investment.

Coillte chief executive David Gunning said yesterday that as the biggest landowner in the Republic, the State company was in a unique position to deliver projects of this sort. “We’re delighted to get another wind farm project under way,” Mr Gunning added.

“We have a further five projects to submit for planning this year and two more in 2011.”

ESB’s chief executive Pádraig McManus said this was another step towards the State energy company’s goal of becoming carbon neutral. “We look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with Coillte through the development of this project,” he said.

The Government has set a target of generating 40 per cent of the Republic’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.

Eirgrid, the State agency responsible for managing the national electricity grid, recently told an Oireachtas committee that this was technically feasible.