A 10-turbine wind farm located near Drumquin in Co. Tyrone is set to be fully operational by late summer as the construction phase comes to an end. Owned by sustainable infrastructure investors NTR, the £50 million project has been financed with support from First Trust Bank.
Known locally as the Castlecraig Wind Farm, the development - which is now going through a series of power and energising tests - will produce enough energy to meet the needs of over 18,500 homes annually. Working with a host of local suppliers, contractors and businesses, construction of Castlecraig has been managed by renewable energy company, RES who will continue to manage the project over the next 25 years.
Construction started in June 2017 with a number of local firms involved including Adman from Omagh which undertook the civil construction works, B.McCaffrey & Sons Ltd and Colton Quarries who provided stone, Tracey Concrete from Enniskillen, Lisburn based Mar-Train Heavy Haulage, along with local staff from Barton Industrial Services and Omexom from their Belfast offices.
Speaking about the project, NTR Program Manager Martin Sweeney said;
“We are delighted to see construction successfully completed at Castlecraig Wind Farm thanks to the hard work of all our partners including RES and its suppliers. The expertise of the team coupled with the recent good weather, saw an average of two turbines erected each week, a fantastic feat, bringing the project ahead of schedule.
“NTR is selective about the markets, technology and contractors we work with, and we have been impressed by the performance and expertise demonstrated by all the businesses involved in this development. Fionnuala and the team at First Trust Bank have the market and regional knowledge we need in a financial partner. They know the local contractors and suppliers we are working with and this first-hand sectoral experience is always a benefit when it comes to a diverse development like this.”
The project is the latest in a series of renewable energy projects supported by First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland. It has funded over 150MW of renewable energy projects in recent years including large scale wind projects such as Castlecraig, as well as single turbine developments with Simple Power and anaerobic digestors.
Fionnuala Brennan, Relationship Manager at First Trust Bank added,
“It’s great to see Castlecraig Wind Farm hit this significant milestone and we are proud to have supported the construction of a key infrastructure project that is enabling substantial inward investment to the local area and across Northern Ireland.
“For projects like this, we often find that businesses think they have to go to Dublin or elsewhere in the UK to get the industry and financial sectoral expertise they need. We however have an expert energy team on the ground across Northern Ireland as we are keen to support the transition to a low carbon economy. We can play a major role in addressing this issue by how we run our bank, how we invest in our own business and in how we support our customers. Whether it’s small or large scale onshore wind projects, anaerobic digestors or solar projects we have helped many local businesses harness the power of renewable technologies. We look forward to seeing the Castlecraig Wind Farm generating energy in the months to come and the community benefiting from the various funds and business opportunities that come with the project.”
NTR has been investing in sustainable infrastructure since 1999 and specialises in developing, constructing and operating onshore wind projects throughout the UK and Ireland. Castlecraig, is third project NTR have acquired from RES, bringing the number of wind farms NTR have in Northern Ireland to three, after Ora More and Altaveedan, and a total installed capacity in Northern Ireland of 58.0 MW.
RES is one of the world’s leading independent renewable energy companies, at the forefront of the renewable energy sector since the early 1980s. Since then, it has grown to become the world’s largest independent renewable energy developers. RES has been actively contributing to the Northern Ireland economy from its Larne office since the early 1990s and is responsible for over a quarter of the wind farms operating in Northern Ireland today. Globally RES has developed and/or built more than 16 GW of renewable energy capacity and manages 3GW of operating assets for a range of clients.