Lenalea gets green light in Ireland’s first RESS auction

SSE Renewables is delighted to announce its proposed 30.5MW Lenalea onshore wind project in Co. Donegal, a 50/50 joint venture project with partners Coillte Renewable Energy, has received the green light for development after it provisionally won a contract for low carbon power in Ireland’s first competitive auction for onshore wind.

The provisional results of the first round of Ireland’s new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS-1), published yesterday (5th August), are subject to Irish Government approval with the final results due in September. Lenalea is one of 19 onshore wind projects in Ireland which have won contracts for an average of 15 years of new renewable energy generation under RESS-1. The development, which will comprise seven turbines with a maximum tip height of 135m, is expected to enter construction in 2021 ahead of delivery in 2022/23. When complete it will have an installed capacity of 30.5MW and will generate enough low carbon renewable energy to power 20,000 homes annually and offset 24,500 tonnes of carbon per annum, contributing significantly to Ireland’s 2030 renewable energy targets.

The provisional contract win means Lenalea will now receive guaranteed revenue for the low carbon electricity it generates for the duration of the RESS contract.

Barry Kilcline, Director of Development for Ireland at SSE Renewables, said:

“We are delighted that the Lenalea wind farm project has been provisionally successful in this auction round and that it has secured a route to market which will enable the onshore project to contribute to Ireland’s 2030 renewable energy targets. Working with our joint venture partners at Coillte Renewable Energy we will continue to progress the project with a view to commencing construction in 2021. Delivery of this latest wind farm development in Ireland further advances the strategic objective of SSE Renewables to drive the transition to a zero-carbon future through the world class development, construction and operation of renewable energy assets.”

In total 2,237GWh of the 2,557GWh bids submitted by developers have been identified as provisional winners. This accounts for approximately 10% of the amount required to meet Ireland’s 2030 targets and equates to approximately 479MW of onshore wind and 796MW of solar.

The volumes procured under the first RESS auction sets Ireland on the right trajectory to achieve the ambitious 70% renewable electricity target by 2030 set out in the Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan. This will be crucial to Ireland’s contribution towards an EU wide renewable energy target of 32% by 2030 and to the 7% per annum reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions from 2021 to 2030.

The proposed Lenalea Wind Farm is in the rural upland setting of central Donegal, approximately 8km south west of Letterkenny within the townlands of Cark, Killymansy, Lenalea, Kirkneedy and Rareagh.

SSE Renewables owns and operates a number of wind farm sites adjacent to Lenalea, collectively known as Meentycat, with a total generation capacity of 86MW.