Statkraft Ireland has confirmed that construction will begin at Cushaling Wind Farm in counties Offaly and Kildare in January 2023.
The nine-turbine development, which will deliver 55.8MW of urgently needed clean renewable energy to the grid, represents a EUR 95million investment by the company.
Cushaling Wind Farm incorporates the latest technologies and will mark the first use in the Irish market of the Vestas V162-6.2 MW EnVentus turbines. The turbines, which have a tip height of 185m and will be the largest on any wind farm in Ireland, will maximise the potential of the local wind energy resource.
Building on its portfolio of assets, Statkraft will fund and manage the construction of the wind farm and will operate it when it is complete.
Community engagement has also been an integral part of the project proposal. Local community commitments include a 3km amenity trail, which will feature a range of opportunities for biodiversity enhancement, 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 Cushaling Wind Farm mean the delivery of affordable, clean energy to the grid while simultaneously reducing Ireland’s reliance on imported fossil fuels. Every additional wind energy project means a reduction in the amount of coal and gas that we need to generate electricity and reduces the cost of electricity for all consumers.
“We are delighted too that the installation of the V162 turbine in Cushaling Wind Farm will be a first of its kind for the island of Ireland. Cushaling will be the site of the very first V162, constituting the very latest in technology advances.”
Donal O’Sullivan, Head of Development with Statkraft Ireland, continued: “I would like to acknowledge the great work of the Statkraft Ireland Development team in achieving this milestone. Since the start of this process, we have sought feedback from the community to ensure that residents were happy with the layout of this project which has allowed for the very latest turbine technology through the planning process.
Cushaling was granted planning permission in 2020 and is expected to be operational in late 2024.
“We look forward to building on this positive engagement locally as the project progresses and helps Ireland decarbonise its energy system. An annual Community Benefit Fund of EUR 300,000 will be delivered over the next 15 years, which will support sustainable projects in the locality.”
“Vestas is thrilled to deliver its first V162-6.2 MW turbines to Ireland which is a perfect fit to the Irish Midlands and also leverages the versatility and strong performance of the EnVentus platform technology, Vestas’ next generation in the evolution of wind turbine,” said Juan Furones, Vice President Sales for Northern and Central Europe at Vestas.
“Our thanks goes to Statkraft Ireland for their trust in us which is also reflected in a long-term 35-year service contract. Driven by the mutual interest of all stakeholders to accelerate the energy transition in Ireland, this project will support the country’s ambition of a more decarbonised economy.”
Statkraft entered the Irish market in 2018 and since then has almost tripled its workforce and tripled its development portfolio. It develops, owns, and operates renewable energy projects across the technologies of onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, battery storage and grid services.