Statkraft Ireland has confirmed that construction will start on the Cushaling Wind Farm in Counties Offaly and Kildare in January 2023.
The development of nine wind turbines, which will deliver urgently needed 55.8 MW of clean renewable energy to the grid, represents an investment of €95 million by the company.
The Cushaling wind farm incorporates the latest technologies and will mark the first use in the Irish market of Vestas V162-6.2 MW EnVentus turbines. The turbines, which have a tip height of 185m and will be the largest of any wind farm in Ireland, will maximize the potential of the local wind power resource.
Based on its asset portfolio, Statkraft will finance and manage the construction of the wind farm and operate it when complete.
Community involvement has also been an integral part of the project proposal. Local community commitments include a 3 km recreational trail, which will feature a variety of opportunities to enhance biodiversity, which is being developed as part of the project.
Kevin O’Donovan, Managing Director of Statkraft Ireland, said: “The twin crises of energy and climate are having an impact both in Ireland and around the world. However, ambitious Statkraft projects like the Cushaling Wind Farm mean the delivery of clean, affordable power to the grid while also reducing Ireland’s dependency on imported fossil fuels. Each additional wind power project means a reduction in the amount of coal and gas we need to generate electricity and lowers the cost of electricity for all consumers.
“We are also delighted that the installation of the V162 turbine at the Cushaling wind farm is the first of its kind on the island of Ireland. Cushaling will be the site of the first V162, which is the latest in technological advances.”
Donal O’Sullivan, Statkraft Ireland Head of Development, continued: “I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the Statkraft Ireland Development team in achieving this milestone. From the beginning of this process, we sought community input to ensure residents were happy with the design of this project, which has allowed for the latest turbine technology during the planning process.
“We look forward to building on this positive engagement at the local level as the project progresses and helps Ireland decarbonise its energy system. An annual Community Benefit Fund of EUR 300,000 will be provided for the next 15 years, which will support sustainable projects in the town”.
“Vestas is delighted to deliver its first V162-6.2 MW wind turbines to Ireland, which are perfectly suited to the Irish Midlands and also take advantage of the versatility and strong performance of the EnVentus platform technology, Vestas next generation in the evolution of the wind turbines”. said Juan Furones, Vice President of Sales for Northern and Central Europe at Vestas.
“Our thanks to Statkraft Ireland for their trust in us, which is also reflected in a 35-year long-term service contract. Driven by the mutual interest of all stakeholders to accelerate the energy transition in Ireland, this project will support the the country’s ambition for a more decarbonized economy”.
Cushaling received planning permission in 2020 and is expected to be operational by the end of 2024.
Statkraft entered the Irish market in 2018 and has since nearly tripled its workforce and tripled its development pipeline. It develops, owns and operates renewable energy projects in the technologies of onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, battery storage and grid services.