€31.5m wind farm for North Kerry

Tadhg Evans

Norway-based renewable energy giant Statkraft has said it plans to begin contruction of a 23.1 megawatt windfarm on the border between Kerry and Limerick this month. The windfarm will be located at Kilathmoy, and the project will consist of seven 3.3 MW Nordex N100 turbines, 100 metres in height.

Expected to be fully commissioned late next year, total investment by the company, including purchase and development costs, is expected to amount to around€31.5million. The windfarm is the company's first in the Republic of Ireland and follows its recent acquisition of Element Power Ireland Ltd, which has a portfolio of 1,300 MWs in Ireland.

Statkraft is Europe's largest renewable energy producer and also has operations in locations such as South America and India.

"We are very pleased to announce our first investment decision in Irish renewables," Statkraft Ireland Head of Development Kevin O'Donovan said, with his company hoping to increase its Irish portfolio to 6,000 megawatts inside the next decade. "Statkraft is already Europe's largest producer of renewable energy and sees Ireland as a key market given its significant renewable energy resources. 

"We are already playing a leading role in the transition to a low carbon future and believe that our experience and capabilities will be of service to Ireland in this transition over the coming years."

Figures released last year showed Kerry was producing 14 per cent of the State's wind-derived electrity, and communities in north and east Kerry have consistently expressed concerns over the extent of wind farm construction in the county.