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Energy Minister Nigel Dodds has welcomed the opening of Northern Ireland’s latest wind farm at Lough Hill.

Posted on: April 3rd, 2008

The six turbine development is owned by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and has a capacity of 7.8MW which is sufficient to provide enough electricity to power 4,400 homes.

Minister Dodds said: “Renewables development is critically important for us in Northern Ireland. We are too heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels for our energy requirements and need to address this infrastructural weakness together with its consequences for our environment and for our energy supply security.”

RES is the largest single wind farm operator in Northern Ireland with over 100MW of wind capacity. Globally, it has nearly 2,000MW of operating capacity including the world’s largest (278MW) wind farm in the USA.

The Minister continued: “It is important that we overcome the obstacles to renewables development. The recently published Electrical Grid Study considers the potential for increased renewables in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. It focuses on the infrastructural strengthening that would be required to accommodate an increase in renewables by 2020.”

The Minister stressed the importance of community engagement and actions to demonstrate the benefits of renewable energy. Praising RES for their local schools competition, the Minister said: “This is an investment for the future of these children and the environment. Renewable energy is high on my Department’s agenda, but it is not just the preserve of DETI. Other NI Departments have a critical role to play in helping to develop a supportive environment for the future growth of renewable energy.

“I am keen to ensure there are greater levels of cross departmental co-operation to enable the sector, and companies like RES, to play an increasingly active role in delivering cleaner, more diverse and secure energy generation in Northern Ireland.”