Tra Investments, a subsidiary of Lee Strand Co-operative, has commenced operation at its new Eur23 million wind farm project in North Kerry. The green electricity will be used by Energia, Ireland’s largest independent energy supplier, to provide power to businesses throughout Ireland.
The 16 turbine 13.3MW wind farm is located on three sites between North Kerry’s Stacks Mountains and Castleisland and their combined energy output would have the capability to produce enough electricity to power 14,000 homes in County Kerry.
“Renewable energy is an emerging environmentally friendly source of power in Ireland which also presents a strong commercial opportunity. We believe our partnership with Energia will not only deliver a significant and secure long term return on investment but will also contribute to Ireland’s commitment towards a longer term sustainable energy alternative,” says Brendan Walsh, chairman of Tra Investments.
Today, wind energy provides electricity to the equivalent of 40 million European citizens. Wind farms in Ireland supply enough clean green power to support over 146,000 users which is the equivalent to the domestic electricity needs of County Cork.
“Energia has invested significantly in developing a portfolio of renewable power to meet this growing demand for green power. We currently have over 220 MW of operational wind farms, and a further 400 MW in development, and have consistently been one of the largest investors in the renewable sector. This results in the elimination of over 350,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year from the Irish atmosphere – the equivalent of removing the emissions of over 160,000 1400cc cars from our roads,” comments James Cronin of Energia.
Enercon Ireland, which supplied the 16 turbines, has signed a twelve year maintenance agreement with Tra Investments. Tra Investments has also signed long term land lease agreements with all landowners across the three wind farm sites. Thirteen landowners in the area will benefit from the investment by way of annual lease payments based on the output of the turbines.
“Ulster Bank has had a long term commitment to the renewable energy sector having financed one of the first wind projects on the Island in 1997. Our Eur17m financing of this wind farm marks another key milestone in Ulster Bank’s commitment to being one of the leading players in the financing of renewable energy projects having been involved in the financing of over 400MW of wind energy projects in the last 12 years,” remarks Steve Dalton, senior manager at Ulster Bank Corporate Banking.
Lee Strand’s current portfolio of investments include Tralee’s multi-storey car park, Radio Kerry and a Tralee student apartment complex.