The Lenalea Wind Farm project in central Donegal, which is being developed by SSE Renewables and partner Coillte Renewable Energy, has formally entered construction. The 30.1 MW wind farm, which will be capable of generating enough renewable energy to power over 20,000 homes each year, is expected to be completed in late 2023.

Delivery of the Lenalea Wind Farm project represents a joint total capital investment of around €40 million by 50:50 co-development partners SSE Renewables and Coillte Renewable Energy. This investment will help support County Donegal’s green recovery through the creation of up to 35 construction jobs at peak project delivery. These roles are expected to be either directly employed by the project’s lead construction contractor, Omagh-based Adman Civil Projects Ltd., or through local subcontractors.  

The Lenalea Wind Farm project is located in the rural upland setting of central Donegal, approximately 10km South-West of Letterkenny and within the townlands of Cark, Killmansey, Lenalea, Kirkneedy and Rareagh.  The site is also located in close proximity to SSE Renewables’ existing Meentycat Wind Farm.

In September 2020 Lenalea received the green light for development and construction after it won a 15-year contract for low carbon power in the first round of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS1), Ireland’s first competitive auction for onshore wind. This contract ensures the wind farm will receive guaranteed revenue for the low carbon electricity it generates. The RESS contract for Lenalea also mandated a multi-million-euro community fund to be paid to community groups locally for the 15-year term of the contract. Full details on the operation of the community fund are expected to be announced later this year.

SSE Renewables is leading on the construction of the project on behalf of the co-development partnership and will operate Lenalea Wind Farm throughout its lifetime. When complete the renewable power generated at Lenalea Wind Farm will offset over 21,500kg of harmful CO2 every year, contributing to the delivery of Ireland’s climate action targets. 

Maria Ryan, Director of Development, Ireland, at SSE Renewables said: “SSE Renewables is delighted to be entering construction again, and particularly on Lenalea Wind Farm. This project will play a key role in advancing our strategic objective at SSE Renewables to drive the transition to a zero-carbon future and meet Ireland’s climate action goals. During project delivery Lenalea Wind Farm will play an important part in County Donegal’s green recovery through important job creation. We look forward to working with our co-development partners Coillte Renewable Energy and the communities in County Donegal to realise the positive social and economic benefits that Lenalea Wind Farm will deliver, both during construction and throughout its operational lifetime.”

Peter Lynch Managing Director, at Coillte Renewable Energy, added: “We are delighted to be involved in the co-development of Lenalea Wind Farm. Its success in securing capacity in the first RESS auction in 2020 was a major achievement and ensures both a guaranteed route to market for the green electricity that will be generated as well as providing a substantial community benefit fund to promote energy efficiency, climate action initiatives and a wide range of other community projects in the area.”

Mobilisation to the site commenced in late April and the initial focus of early-stage construction is on works to support the turbine delivery route. These include road improvements and strengthening works which are due to be completed later this summer.  In tandem, construction of the on-site substation compound will also commence, with all civil and electrical works due for completion by late 2022. 

Delivery of Vestas turbines to Lenalea Wind Farm is expected to commence in Spring 2023, with the installation of the seven Vestas V117-4.2 MW turbines in 4.3 MW operating mode scheduled to take place at the site over the course of Summer 2023. Full wind farm commissioning and completion is expected in late 2023.

A locally based Community Liaison Officer, Seamus Herron, is  available to members of the local community to answer any queries or concerns in relation to the wind farm and is available for contact via clo@sse.com. More information on the project is available on www.lenaleawindfarm.com.

Adman Civil Projects Ltd. has been appointed by SSE Renewables and Coillte to deliver the Civil Balance of Plant (CBoP) contract on Lenalea Wind Farm. An established and leading contractor in the construction of wind farms throughout Ireland, Adman will be responsible for lead project delivery and is expected to employ up to 35 construction roles through a mix of directly employed and locally employed sub-contractors and labour.

Omexom UK & ROI, based in Tipperary, has been awarded the Electrical Balance of Plant (EBOP) contract for the project. Omexom has a strong working relationship with SSE Renewables, having collaborated on a number of now operational wind farms.

Source: https://www.sserenewables.com/
Image source: Courtesy of SSE Renewables

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