Northern Ireland has seen first-hand the significant investment benefits that onshore wind can provide to local communities. An 18 MegaWatt (MW) wind farm is being constructed by renewable energy company, RES, on behalf of investment group, NTR in County Antrim. The project, which started last year, has already produced nearly £4 million for the economy of Northern Ireland.
Altaveedan Wind Farm near Loughguile in County Antrim clearly demonstrates the significant investment renewable energy projects make in local communities. The total capital costs for the project, which started construction in 2015, are expected to be over £30 million.
The nine turbine project has generated over £1.3 million of direct investment in County Antrim and £772,000 spent within a five mile radius of the site. The direct investment in the local economy has been achieved through RES contracting with County Antrim based firms such as P Keenan & Sons and F.P McCann, coupled with utilising Northern Ireland’s home-grown civil engineering expertise William & Henry Alexander (Civil Engineering) Limited.
Altaveedan Wind Farm has seen further investment in recent weeks when the 18 megawatt project was acquired by NTR plc’s wind fund. It is the second time NTR and RES have joined forces, following the acquisition of RES’ Ora More Wind Farm in Co. Fermanagh in 2015.
Manus O’Donnell, Chief Investment Officer for NTR, said: “Altaveedan is our third wind project investment in Northern Ireland over the past eighteen months and our second with RES who have an outstanding reputation as a renewable energy developer by putting the community and local economy at the heart of their activities.
“With this investment, over £60 million of capital will be invested into NTR wind projects locally, which together will provide enough clean energy to sustain an estimated 40,000 homes in Northern Ireland.”
Lucy Whitford, Head of Projects for Ireland at RES, commented: “Altaveedan Wind Farm is a true local economic success story, and we are delighted to be working with NTR again, who have a clear focus on investing on renewable energy projects.
“The Altaveedan project shows what can be achieved in a low cost, low carbon future for Northern Ireland with a supporting political mandate which allows investment to continue to be attracted here.
“We are looking forward to completing construction at Altaveedan on behalf of NTR and will be ensuring that the project continues to deliver local economic benefits when the turbines start arriving on site later in the year.”
Once operational, Altaveedan Wind Farm will continue to invest in the local community through a benefit fund of £36,000 per annum and RES’ innovative Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS). RES will operate LEDS at Altaveedan for NTR and will provide a direct discount of £200 on the electricity bills for those living closest to the wind farm.