29 Sept 2022

Company powers change with €14,000 donation to community groups based in Tipperary

Nine community groups benefit in this tranche of funding

Sinn Fein say new wind energy guidelines will not protect Kildare homeowners

Nine Tipperary communities benefit from funding

SSE Renewables, one of  Ireland’s leading developer, owner, and operator of renewable energy, has donated over €14,000 to 9 community groups in the Limerick and Tipperary border area through its Coomacheo Community Fund.

The company has published its Community Investment Review that contains information on the €1.2 million donated to 416 projects across Ireland in 2021/2022.

The company provides voluntary community funding from its wind farms in support of energy efficiency, safety and sustainability projects to local groups, sports organisations and schools among others and is the largest-ever yearly investment made by SSE Renewables into local communities from its wind farms.

The Coomacheo Community Fund, which distributes wind powered funding on behalf of Knockastanna Wind Farm donated over €14,000 to 9 community groups including schools, sports clubs and community centres.

Kilcommon Community Council received funding to support the installation of a community defibrillator. Bernadette Quinlan, for the Kilcommon Community Council said: “With the support we received from the Coomacheo Community Fund we will be able to supply greater funding for the installation of a defibrillator in our community. This piece of equipment can be the difference between life and death

We know the difference this equipment can have on saving someone’s life in case of an emergency so to be able to get in place.”

The latest Community Fund donation brings the total contribution made by SSE Renewables to local communities in Ireland over €10 million so far since 2003. In that time the Community Fund awards have supported over 4,000 projects and good causes in the areas closest to its wind farms.

In addition to Limerick and Tipperary funding was awarded to community groups operating near SSE Renewables’ wind farms located in Cavan, Wexford, Sligo, Mayo, Monaghan, Cork, Donegal, Kerry, and Galway.

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Renewables said: “Our community benefit funds continue to support numerous communities across Ireland and demonstrates our continued commitment to the local communities around our wind farms. Since the administration of our first community benefit fund in Ireland in 2003 we have grown to now administering over 20 community funds annually with a value of €1m per year. It is inspiring to see our funding help bring to life so many important and innovative community projects across the country.”

Michelle Donnelly, Community Investment Manager at SSE Renewables, said: “Our community benefit funds continue to support numerous communities across Ireland and showcase the ability of communities to successfully respond to emerging priorities. The investments we make now from our wind generation sites will support these communities for years to come and it is pleasing to see that working responsibly in communities remains at the centre of the renewable industry.”

The company’s Community Investment Review also demonstrates its continued commitment to operating in a net zero world and supporting a green economy through the delivery of new renewable energy assets to achieve a net zero future.

SSE Renewables will continue to support Ireland’s green recovery and it hopes to continue the same level of successful support to communities in the coming period of 2022/23. This autumn it will launch a community fund for Lenalea Wind Farm in Donegal, which it is co-developing with FuturEnergy Ireland. It is also working on sharing best practice with communities to become less reliant on carbon, as well as developing new digital reporting frameworks which will ensure that reporting needs for communities and joint venture partners are met.

In the offshore wind energy space, SSE Renewables has a 3GW development pipeline including its flagship Irish project the 800MW Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 which is expected to generate a community benefit fund of around €6m annually.

SSE Renewables provides voluntary funding every year to community groups in the vicinity of its wind farms in support of energy efficiency, safety and sustainability projects as well as social and environmental projects to enable community development.

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