Bord Gáis Energy (BGE) is planning to inject €400m into its wind-farm portfolio, as the company is aiming to develop a further 250MW of wind energy over the next three years, Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte has announced.
Rabbitte was speaking at the official opening of BGE’s first developed wind farm, Ballymartin Wind Farm in Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny, yesterday.
Rabbitte also said Bord Gáis is to open two new wind farms in 2012 that will have the capacity to provide power for more than 30,000 homes.
The second wind farm to become operational in 2012 will be Garracummer Wind Farm in Co Tipperary. According to Bord Gáis, this wind farm will bring an additional 42MW of wind energy online.
Bord Gáis now has 15pc of the installed wind capacity in Ireland. It owns and operates 132 turbines on 13 wind farms in eight counties: Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Donegal and Tyrone.
Rabbitte said renewable energy has a key role in shaping Ireland’s energy future by "decarbonising" its electricity generation over the coming years.
"Ireland needs long-term investment in projects, such as the Ballymartin Wind Farm, and in the next three years Bord Gáis Energy will invest a further €400m on renewable energy projects," he said.
Rabbitte also indicated that as the structure of the Irish energy market develops, there will be new and bigger market opportunities for the renewable energy sector to engage in.
Bord Gáis chief executive John Mullins said the company’s wind farms presently have the capacity to provide energy to 150,000 homes across this country.
"By the end of 2012, this will increase to 180,000 homes. We are committed to providing a sustainable energy product for our customers and we are actively pursuing a portfolio that reduces the carbon footprint associated with providing this energy," said Mullins.
The Irish Government is aiming to have 40pc of electricity produced by renewables by 2020.