Saturday 11th June 2011: The communities of Co. Sligo and north Co. Mayo are discovering the power of wind today at a Free Family Fun Day being hosted by Airtricity – Ireland’s greenest and fastest-growing energy supplier – at Dunneill Wind Farm near Dromore West, Co. Sligo.
The free family event is being held to celebrate Global Wind Week 2011, the annual celebration of wind energy which promotes wind energy as a clean, infinite, non-fossil fuel energy source.
Airtricity’s Free Family Fun Day, which is open to the public from 11am to 3pm, will provide local communities with an opportunity to experience the 11MW Dunneill Wind Farm and the benefits of wind energy up close. Shuttle buses to and from the wind farm will operate every 15 minutes, departing from the Diamond Coast Hotel at Enniscrone.
The Dunneill Wind Farm, which powers Airtricity and is operated by the company’s parent SSE, is an extension of Airtricity’s existing 25MW Kingsmountain Wind Farm. Located to the south of the village of Dromore West in Co. Sligo, the 11MW Dunneill Wind Farm consists of 13 Vestas 850kW turbines and produces enough green energy to supply approximately 8,000 homes.
The energy generated by SSE for Airtricity at Dunneill Wind Farm will help ensure that Ireland meets its targets of 40% renewable energy generation by 2020 and the EU’s mandatory 20% reduction in carbon emissions, and will save up to 33,000 tonnes of harmful polluting carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere each year.
The Airtricity Family Fun Day is an entertaining and informative event for all ages. Visitors embark on escorted site tours to Dunneill Wind Farm where they can experience energy made better at close range, and explore how a wind turbine works from inside the base of a turbine. Young visitors to the wind farm can ‘touch a turbine’ and leave a painted handprint on a turbine base to mark the occasion.
A highlight of the event is the opportunity to see Toyota’s new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology, one of only three such demonstration vehicles in Ireland, being powered directly from one of Airtricity’s 850kW wind turbines at Dunneill Wind Farm. Other fun activities at the Diamond Coast Hotel include a free barbecue and refreshments for all the family as well as entertainment from younger visitors including face painters and balloon modellers, clay modelling, fun and interactive science and magic shows, and bouncy castles.
About Airtricity’s wind energy investment in Co. Sligo
Since its foundation Airtricity has invested over €1billion in Irish renewables. The company is Ireland’s greenest energy supplier and the No.1 generator of renewable energy with over 500MW of installed capacity of onshore wind.
The wind energy industry is a major current and future net contributor to the County Sligo economy. Over the lifetime of the current installed capacity of 51.1MW of wind energy generation in County Sligo, it’s estimated that almost €15million will be paid directly into Sligo’s local economy through landowner payments, county council commercial rate payments, and community fund contributions alone.
Airtricity, which currently operates 36MW of installed capacity in the county, has already directly invested over €2.1million in commercial rates, community funding, and landowner payments into the region – including over €1million which has been paid directly to Sligo County Council in commercial rates to fund local services and infrastructure. These direct payments into the local economy will continue for the lifetime of the company’s wind farms.
Airtricity will pay out over €500,000 this year in annual community funding across the company’s entire operational wind portfolio in Ireland, including in County Sligo, to support real and deliverable energy efficiency improvements and projects being championed by local communities living in the vicinity of its wind farms. The company is the only renewable energy developer to support Irish local communities in this way.
Last month Airtricity paid out €17,000 in community funding to local groups near County Sligo’s Dunneill Wind Farm and earlier this year the company contributed over €12,000 in funding to groups in the locality of the nearby Kingsmountain Wind Farm.
About Airtricity & SSE:
Airtricity is Ireland’s largest independent and fastest-growing energy supply brand, supplying half a million domestic and commercial customers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with cheaper gas and electricity.
At Airtricity we believe in energy made better. Airtricity is Ireland’s greenest energy supplier – as well as supplying electricity that is 66% from renewable sources, Airtricity has been officially recognised as Ireland’s leading greener energy supplier winning the Green Energy Award in 2011 for the third year running. The company has also been ranked the Most Reputable Energy Supply Company in Ireland for the second year in a row (2011 and 2010 Ireland RepTrak Study).