In the realm of sustainable energy, Ørsted and FuturEnergy Ireland have achieved a notable milestone with the recent approval from An Bord Pleanála for the Coom Green Energy Park, an onshore wind development project nestled near the Bottlehill waste facility in County Cork. This joint venture, a harmonious collaboration split evenly between Ørsted and FuturEnergy Ireland, promises to be a beacon of environmental progress, delivering up to 121 MW of renewable energy.
Capacity and Environmental Impact:
At its core, the Coom Green Energy Park is envisioned as Ørsted’s highest-output onshore wind farm in Ireland, earmarked to generate 121 MW of clean energy. The significance of this venture extends beyond numerical figures; it is poised to power approximately 80,000 homes and contribute substantially to Ireland’s pre-2030 emissions reduction targets by displacing up to 150,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
The project’s commitment to the local community is evident in the establishment of a robust Community Benefit Fund. This fund, fueled by both near-neighbor contributions and a wider community fund, is designed to directly support local projects. Once operational, an annual community benefit fund of around €500,000 for the initial 15 years will be initiated, serving as a tangible and lasting benefit to the surrounding communities.
Economic Uplift and Job Creation:
Beyond environmental gains, the Coom Green Energy Park holds the promise of an economic upswing for the region. Anticipated contributions to local rates and job creation are noteworthy, with up to 168 jobs forecasted during the construction phase and an additional 42 long-term positions expected once the wind farm becomes operational.
Strategic Importance and Partnerships:
TJ Hunter, Ørsted’s Senior Director for Development and Operations in the UK & Ireland, underscores the strategic importance of the Coom Green Energy Park as a significant infrastructure development. The 50:50 partnership between Ørsted and FuturEnergy Ireland, the latter being a joint venture owned by Irish utility ESB and forestry company Coillte, emphasizes a collaborative approach to sustainable energy endeavors.
Timeline and Future Steps:
Looking ahead, the project’s timeline envisions potential operation by 2027, subject to successful grid connection confirmation from EirGrid. This crucial step will pave the way for participation in future Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS) auctions or the exploration of corporate power purchase agreements, further solidifying its role in Ireland’s renewable energy landscape.
Renewable Energy and Climate Action:
Coom Green Energy Park’s approval aligns seamlessly with Ireland’s climate action targets, reflecting a dedication to reducing dependence on conventional energy sources. Ørsted’s commitment to the project, demonstrated over the nearly three-year planning process, underscores the company’s dedication to lowering the cost of electricity for Irish consumers and contributing to a sustainable energy future.
In conclusion, the Coom Green Energy Park emerges not only as a testament to technological advancements in renewable energy but as a holistic model for sustainable development. Its potential to deliver clean energy, foster community development, and support Ireland’s environmental aspirations positions it as a flagship project in the ongoing global transition towards a greener and more sustainable future.