A £60 million investment could ‘blow’ into the Borough, if plans for a wind farm at Garvagh get the go ahead.
Plans have been lodged for the 20 turbine wind farm near Glenullin, outside Garvagh, by TCI Renewables, a wind power development company. The project, if it gets the go ahead, will bring a massive investment to the Borough and make a substantial contribution to the production of zero pollution energy.
The project is expected to cost up to £60 million with an estimated £6 -10 million being spent in the local economy on development, financing, legal arrangements, delivery, construction, materials, plant and auxiliary equipment. Eight land owners are involved in the development. Each will receive an annual income for the lifetime of the project from the sale of electricity from the wind turbines.
When it is constructed the wind farm will generate a rateable income for Coleraine Borough Council. It is estimated that as much as £200,000 per year could be raised from the wind farm, providing Council with approximately £4 million of revenue over the lifetime of the project.
The turbines would produce enough electricity to provide power to 35,000 homes each year. Over the 20 year life of the wind farm it is estimated that it would displace, at current comparisons, approximately 2.75m tonnes of CO2.
To put that in perspective, it is the equivalent to the emissions produced by well over 48,000 family cars each year, for the next 20 years.
Gary Preston, director of the project for TCI Renewables, told the Coleraine Times: “This is a major project and we have been working on it for some time. We have been consulting with the local community and the response so far has been very positive.
“A full environmental impact survey has been undertaken and the plans have now been submitted to the Planning Service, but it could take up to two years for approval to be given. We are looking at 2010 before work is likely to begin.
“We see this scheme as a benefit to the local economy and we want to use local suppliers and workers as far as possible during the construction phase. After the wind farm has been built, Coleraine Borough Council will get the benefit of rates from the site, providing approximately £4 million of new revenue over the lifetime of the project.”
The plans are for 20 wind turbines, each capable of producing 60 MW of power. With blades 45m long, the turbine structures would stand 125 high.
The proposed development site is predominantly grassland and bogland used for sheep-grazing. It is centred on Ashlamaduff Hill, approximately seven and a half kilometres from Garvagh.
31 January 2008
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