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New wind farm a ‘significant step’ in meeting renewable energy targets

By March 8, 2024No Comments

The Chief Executive of Bord na Móna has said the Oweninny Wind Farm, which is set to be Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm, represents a “significant step” towards meeting the country’s renewable energy targets.

The Oweninny project is a joint venture between ESB and Bord na Móna representing a total investment of €320m.

Wind energy is part of the Government’s national target to generate five times more clean electricity and move to 80% renewable electricity by 2030.

The Oweninny Wind Farm in Moneynierin has been built over two phases with a total output of 192MW, enough to power 140,000 homes and businesses annually.

The project site stretches across almost 2,500 hectares between Crossmolina and Bangor Erris.

The land was formerly used for peat harvesting by Bord na Móna to provide fuel for the ESB Bellacorick peat-fired station which ceased operation in 2005.

Bord na Móna said the peatland rehabilitation programme and low-carbon operations is part of its Brown to Green strategy.

There were 29 turbines erected in 2019 during phase one, with a further 31 entering commercial operation during the second phase at the end of 2023.

Oweninny is Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm, and is a joint venture between the ESB and Bord na Móna.

ESB Chief Executive Paddy Hayes outlined how the project will help to support ESB’s Net Zero by 2040 targets: “Oweninny Wind Farm is another important step for ESB and for Ireland towards Net Zero.

“I would like to commend Bord na Móna for their partnership approach as we worked together to deliver what is now Ireland’s largest wind farm. Oweninny builds on our long-standing history of delivering projects of scale in north Mayo and the wider west of Ireland region.

“Renewable electricity reduces Ireland’s dependence on gas markets and contributes to Ireland’s ambitious climate action plan targets, supporting a Net Zero future for the customers and communities we serve.”

Bord na Móna Chief Executive Tom Donnellan said: “In Ireland, we are putting more renewables on the grid than ever before, which is essential if we are to meet our targets of achieving 80% renewable energy by 2030.

“Oweninny Wind Farm represents a significant step towards meeting those targets, and we look forward to continued expansion of our wider renewables output to bolster national progress further, including developments across wind, solar, hydrogen and biomass.”

The site also includes a purpose-built €3m visitor interpretative centre that focuses on the science, engineering and technology behind renewable energy while raising awareness of climate change and considering the landscape in which the wind farm is based.

It provides insight to the history of power generation, peat production, wind energy development, the bog rehabilitation programme, ecological interests and the social history of the area.

It will be formally opened at a later date.

Article Source – New wind farm a ‘significant step’ in meeting renewable energy targets – RTE

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