Further funding boost for Donegal community groups

Meenadreen wind farmLaunch of second round of Energia Meenadreen Community Fund

1st September 2016 – €22,000 of additional funding is now available for Donegal community-based projects, after the second round of the Energia Meenadreen Community Fund was launched today.

Meenadreen wind farm is a 95MW development located between Donegal town and Glenties in south Donegal and will be the largest wind farm in Ireland at the time of completion.

All interested community, voluntary and charity organisations located within a 7.5km area around the Meenadreen wind farm are being encouraged to apply. Applications are being accepted between Thursday 1st September and Friday 23rd September. More details can be found on www.foundation.ie or by emailing info@foundation.ie or calling 01 874 7354.

Energia Renewables launched the first round of funding for community projects near Meenadreen in March 2016. Under this round, community projects in Clogher (the Le Cheile amenity site) and Barnesmore, Leghowney and Townawilly (a community alert scheme) received funding grants.

Energia Renewables runs several Community Funds in Ireland based geographically around their wind farms. The longest running is Crighshane and Church Hill wind farm in County Tyrone which is visible from the Meenadreen site.

Projects that have been funded include:

  • Upgrade of stage and hall lighting to energy efficient LED lighting
  • Completion of the public amenity site on the Clogher river
  • Development of a play area to provide an education resource and natural recreation area
  • The installation of a monitored CCTV system for community facility protection
  • Provision towards the installation of a high efficient heating boiler.

Construction work at Meenadreen wind farmThe fund is run by the Community Foundation Ireland (CFI) which is an independent grant-making organisation. It uses the monies from their own permanent endowment and by donors and philanthropists to distribute grants to various causes and groups right across the country. CFI handle the administration of receiving grant applications, carrying out due diligence on the charities, prepare a portfolio of options to fund and measure the impact of the donations.

Peter Bailie, Managing Director, Energia Renewables commented, “After the success of the first round of the Energia Meenadreen Community Fund, we’re anticipating a similarly high level of interest in the second round. All of the projects that are being funded benefit the local community. Many of the projects also involve improved energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption.”

“We receive a lot of support from local communities when we are developing these facilities and we’re very grateful for this. The development of our new wind farms is a very positive step forward for renewable energy in Ireland and this is something that is very important to us. All of our wind farm developments bring significant benefits to the local economies, including job creation, increased demand for construction suppliers, improvements to local infrastructure such as roads.”

“Energia has a long standing commitment to sustainability. This is one of the reasons why we are one of the leading providers of renewable energy to homes and businesses across Ireland. We currently supply over 795MWs of green power and thanks to a number of wind farms currently in development, we will soon increase this to 1,000MWs. Energia Group remains one of the most significant contributors to the achievement of Ireland’s renewable targets and one of the largest investors in the renewable sector.”

Energia has a 23% market share of the Irish business electricity and gas market supplying the energy needs of over 60,000 business customers.

Energia has offices in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Belfast and Omagh.