Electricity poles on the grid route for a new wind farm outside Brookeborough were vandalised in the same month that the wind farm released £50,000 into the local community.
The company behind the Teiges Mountain Wind Farm project has reported the incident to police.
Speaking to The Impartial Reporter this week, a spokesman for Energia said: “Regrettably, NIE Networks advised us that a number of electric poles on the grid route have recently been vandalised. In line with company policy, like any incident of its kind, this has been reported to the PSNI and to the local landowners on whose land the vandalism occurred.”
He added: “Our ongoing ability to fund local developments is dependent on the wind farm going into operation so we are working with the PSNI and local community to ensure there are no further incidents of this kind.”
It is understood the electricity poles were damaged at the end of January as they lay on land close to the wind farm site which is currently under construction on the Teiges Hill Road.
The Energia spokesman said that, despite the incident, the wind farm project “is on time to deliver power to the local grid by September and further financial support for the local community over its 20-year life.”
The Teiges Mountain Wind Farm project was originally developed by DW consultancy but since April 2017 is wholly owned by Energia, one of the largest energy supply companies on the island of Ireland.
The wind farm will comprise five GE Turbines.
“Importantly for Energia, the wind farm is largely being constructed with the assistance of local companies and local suppliers in cooperation with local landowners. Through their hard work the wind farm is planned to be operational by September. Local representatives were consulted on the community benefit scheme,” said the spokesman.
“The NIE network connection for the wind farm will not only connect the 11MW windfarm to the electricity grid but will also contribute to the strengthening of the local network adding important resilience to this part of the rural network,” he stated.
The spokesman voiced his pleasure at the fact that the Teiges Mountain Community Wind Farm Fund has recently announced grants totalling approximately £50,000 to 19 community and educational based initiatives in the Brookeborough, Conneen and Knocks area.
“Grants have been awarded to a wide range of youth, senior citizens, sporting, health and environmental projects. Groups who will benefit from the funding include both St. Mary’s and Brookeborough primary schools, the community playgroup, and the three local community associations based in Brookeborough, Cooneen and the Knocks.
“Local youth groups are also benefitting from the fund with grants awarded to the Brookeborough youth club and Colebrooke/Conneen Scout Group,” he said.
Heber McMahon’s Gaelic Club and the two bowling clubs at St. Mary’s and Colebrooke have been awarded funding to purchase equipment
“The funding will also allow a number of groups to run community education classes including health and safety courses and music tuition,” the spokesman said.
The Community Wind Farm Fund is managed and administered by the Fermanagh Trust on behalf of Energia.
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