By Geoff Percival
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
GAELECTRIC, the Dublin-headquartered renewable energy group, has signed an €18 million development deal with Chinese energy giant, XEMC which will result in three wind farms being built in the Midlands with the capacity to power nearly 7,000 homes.
The three sites, in counties Westmeath, Offaly and Roscommon, will generate a combined total of 13.6 megawatts of wind power and should be fully operational by the middle of next year, with the capability of powering up to 6,500 homes.
The project also marks XEMC’s first foray into Europe.
It will build the wind turbines to be used and will also co-develop Gaelectric’s remaining pipeline of wind energy projects in Ireland and the US.
Gaelectric’s chief executive, Brendan McGrath, called the partnership "a significant strategic step" for the Irish company; while the deal also won praise from IDA Ireland which has been working with XEMC for some time in a bid to strengthen Irish-Chinese business relationships.
"Gaelectric’s pipeline of wind farm projects in key locations in Ireland and the US — combined with our shared focus on innovation in renewable energy technologies — makes us ideal allies in co-developing Gaelectric’s portfolio of renewable power projects," commented XEMC group chairman Zhou Jianxiong.
Yesterday’s development marks the second significant announcement by the Irish firm this year.
Back in February, it secured planning approval for a €68m wind farm development in Co Derry.
This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Tuesday, August 16, 2011