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Minister launches new Bord Gáis Energy Wind Farm in Kilkenny

23.04.112

Wind output will provide energy to over 180,000 Irish homes by end 2012

New wind farm part of €400m investment in wind energy

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD, has today announced that Bord Gáis Energy (BGE) is to open two new wind farms in 2012 that will provide enough power for over 30,000 homes. At the official opening of Bord Gáis Energy's first developed wind farm, Ballymartin Wind Farm in Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny, Minister Rabbitte also confirmed that BGE will develop a further 250MWs of wind energy over the next three years as part of a €400m investment.

Bord Gáis Energy is a key player in the Irish Wind market and has 15% of the installed wind capacity in Ireland at present. The company owns and operates 132 turbines on 13 wind farms in eight counties - Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Donegal and Tyrone. The company's long term investment in renewable energy reflects and supports the Government's target of having 40% of electricity produced by renewables by 2020. It is envisaged that wind energy will provide the largest source of renewable energy to achieve these targets.

Speaking at today's launch, Minister Rabbitte said: "Renewable energy has a key role in shaping Ireland's energy future by decarbonising our electricity generation over the coming years. Bord Gáis Energy's commitment to investing in and developing wind farms, means that the company is now one of the largest generators of renewable energy in Ireland. 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. As the structure of the Irish energy market develops, there will be new and bigger market opportunities for our renewable energy sector to engage in. We must ensure that projects such as Ballymartin Wind Farm are encouraged so that Ireland can establish itself as a key renewable energy trading country."

John Mullins, Chief Executive, Bord Gáis said: "The launch of Ballymartin Wind Farm is a significant milestone in Bord Gáis' renewable energy agenda. At present, our windfarms can provide energy to 150,000 homes across this country, and 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. Long term investment in the development of Irish wind is a cornerstone of our investment strategy and we will ensure Ireland maximises the benefit of one of its most precious indigenous resources – the wind".

"Our commitment to investing in and growing our business has a significant impact on the Irish economy as we create and support jobs in Ireland. In the past five years alone Bord Gáis has invested €2 billion in the Irish economy."

Information on Ballymartin Wind Farm, Co Kilkenny

  • 6 MW of export capacity – enough to generate energy for over 4,000 homes.
  • 25 year lifecyle
  • Planning was granted in December 2010 for an extension of 4 turbines which will bring the total power generation to 14MW. Construction on this extension will begin in Q4 2012.

Information on Garracummer Wind Farm, Co Tipperary

  • Operational in late 2012
  • 42 MW of export capacity – enough to generate energy for over 27,000 homes.
For further information contact:

Christine Heffernan, Bord Gáis, 01 2335029 / 087 050 5555