Ireland’s largest wind farm opens in Meenadreen to power 50,000 homes

23 Mar 2017

Ireland’s largest windfarm in Meenadreen, Co Donegal. Image: Thomas McNulty

At 95MW, Energia’s Meenadreen wind farm is the largest of its kind in the country, aiming to power 50,000 homes.

Ireland’s wind energy generation is expected to increase significantly from today, following the opening of the largest wind farm in Ireland at Meenadreen in Co Donegal.

With a capacity of 95MW, the wind farm has been developed over the past 26 months by energy firm Energia at a total cost of €145m.

Ireland’s second-largest wind farm is in Knocknacummer in Co Cork, which has a capacity of 87.5MW across its 35 turbines.

With 38 Nordex turbines, Energia said that the output of this latest wind farm will be able to power up to 50,000 homes, thereby reducing Ireland’s CO2 emissions by 100,000 tonnes per year.

However, this will do little to make a dent in Ireland’s estimated CO2 emissions in 2015, which totalled close to 60m tonnes for the year.

Meenadreen wind farm

Aerial shot of Ireland’s largest wind farm in Meenadreen, Co Donegal. Image: Thomas McNulty 

Peter Baillie, managing director of Energia Renewables, said: “Since 2008, Energia has invested over €350m in developing and constructing new wind farms. We are very proud to have delivered this large-scale project and to finally see it start supplying energy to homes and businesses around the island of Ireland.”

“We’d like to thank the local community at Leghowney for their support, and are delighted that this Meenadreen wind farm will be providing further community funding for the local areas and local authority rates for the lifetime of the wind farms.”

So far, Energia claims it has spent more than €500m on wind farm development in Ireland, suppling various parts of the country with 1GW of renewable energy in a bid to edge us a little bit closer to meeting Ireland’s emission reduction targets.

However, the State’s prospects of reaching that target seem unlikely as a recent report found that as much as €35bn in Government funding would need to be spent in order for us to achieve a 30pc reduction in CO2 emissions.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic