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20/11/2013

McGuinness Opens £125m Wind Farm

Martin McGuinness has opened a £125m wind farm near Limavady.

The deputy First Minister attended the ceremony today, which saw the opening of Slieve Kirk Wind Park; a new development expected to produce enough green energy to power over 65,000 homes across Northern Ireland.

Slieve Kirk Wind Park is the development of the original 27MW Slieve Kirk wind farm near Ardmore with a 46MW expansion of capacity developed at Glenconway Hill, near Limavady. It is expected to generate around 200GWh of electricity each year.

The deputy First Minister said: "This is the biggest wind farm in the north of Ireland and the green energy generated at Slieve Kirk will power 65,000 homes and significantly decarbonise our energy generation. It further contributes to our Programme for Government target to encourage achievement of 20% of electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2015.

"SSE has made an important contribution to the north west by investing £36m in the local community and businesses. The company has made a commitment to future community investment throughout the lifetime of the wind farm. This commitment by SSE demonstrates the real economic impact from renewable energy and reinforces the value of our green economy."

Paul Cooley, General Manager Ireland of SSE Renewables, said: "At SSE, we believe passionately in doing more to support the local communities in which we operate. Through the development of Slieve Kirk Wind Park we have been able to demonstrate this commitment to our communities by ensuring that local workers and the local supply chain can reap the benefit of this wind farm, not just during construction but also through to operation. "That’s why we’re proud to have been able to invest £36m into local businesses through the construction of this wind farm, providing real economic support where and when it’s needed during these challenging times, and why we’ll continue to support the community in Derry-Londonderry for the 25 year lifetime of the wind farm through community payments totalling £18.5million, bringing the local investment to £55million.

"In this way, we’re leading the renewable energy industry and doing more to demonstrate the value that green energy can deliver in Northern Ireland."

(IT/CD)

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