SSE and Coillte sign €176m deal to build Ireland’s largest wind farm

7 Jan 2016259 Shares

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A deal worth €176m has been signed between SSE and Coillte to construct the final stage of Galway Wind Park, the largest deal ever done for a single wind farm in Ireland.

Once completed, the western wind farm will become Ireland’s largest wind farm, with a total capacity of 169MW; it is currently in the first stage of its construction financed by SSE.

This new deal, the companies announced, will see the two partner up 50-50 in ownership and financing of the large-scale wind energy project, with expectations that the Galway Wind Park will be completed by Q3 2017, with construction having started in February of last year.

This new second phase of construction is expected to begin with immediate effect and, once completed, the wind farm will have the capacity to generate enough clean energy to power 84,000 homes in the Galway region, which SSE equates to 90pc of the homes in the county.

Galway Wind Park panorama

A panorama of the first phase of Galway Wind Park. Image via SSE Ireland

SSE, which will be operating the wind farm, envisions that once completed it will offset approximately 190,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year from fossil fuel generation, which would help contribute to Ireland’s target of 16pc of our energy being sourced from renewables by 2020.

The expansion of Galway’s wind energy output comes as no surprise as the region awaits the arrival of two Apple data centres, with the tech company having already agreed to finance €400m worth of wind farms in the region.

“Our investment with project partner Coillte at Galway Wind Park marks the most significant commitment yet that SSE has made in renewable generation here and reflects the exceptional quality of this Galway site for wind energy generation as well as the outstanding project partnership that we enjoy with Coillte,” said Paul Cooley, SSE’s director or renewables.

13/01/2016:

This article was amended to show that Apple are investing €400m in renewable energy projects, while its data centres will see investment of €850m.

Wind farm image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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