A NEW wind farm opened in Co Kilkenny at the weekend will generate enough energy for 4,000 homes.
Bord Gáis Energy (BGE)’s first developed wind farm was officially opened by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD on Sunday. The farm is situated at Ballymartin Wind Farm in Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny.
Minister Rabbitte announced that BGE is to open two new wind farms in 2012 that will provide enough power for over 30,000 homes.
At the opening, 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. The second windfarm to become operational in 2012 will be Garracummer Wind Farm in Co Tipperary, which will bring an additional 42MW of wind energy online.
BGE has 15 per cent of the installed wind capacity in Ireland at present and owns and operates 132 turbines on 13 wind farms in eight counties – Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Donegal and Tyrone.
The Government has a target of having 40 per cent of electricity produced by renewables by 2020.
Minister Rabbitte described renewable energy as having “a key role in shaping Ireland’s energy future by decarbonising our electricity generation over the coming years”.
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 described the launch as “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.