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Irish People Encouraged to Get Up-Close and Personal with Enough Wind to Power 325,000 Homes

15 June, 2015

-  Record number of Wind Farms across Ireland open to the public through June.
- Turbines on show represent almost a fifth of Ireland’s Wind Generation Capacity

 A record number of 24 wind farms across the Island of Ireland are open to the public and schools through the month of June as part of an initiative to encourage Irish people to experience wind turbines first hand, ask questions and learn more about the how wind energy works.

The wind farm openings have been organised by 16 separate companies and the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) as part of Global Wind Day, which is marked in countries across Europe and the globe on June 15th, and will include a range of activities including school and family tours, turbine look & learn experiences, charity runs, walking tours, and other family fun events.

The wind farms hosting events comprise almost 250 individual wind turbines and represent over 500MW of electricity generation capacity, enough to power over 325,000 local homes.

Kenneth Matthews, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) which every year encourages its members to open their wind farms to the public, said:

“Wind energy is Ireland’s fastest growing energy source but also our cleanest, most cost effective and most abundant source of indigenous renewable energy.

“We believe it is very important that all of us operating in the industry do more to inform people about the benefits of wind energy, and answering any questions and concerns they may have. The wind farm openings this week and through the month of June are a great opportunity to do just that.

Last year saw over 1,000 people young and old visiting Irish wind farms, this year we expect even more. I’m encouraging people to come, see and learn for yourself about the benefits of Irish wind energy.”

Philomena Kenealy, manager at Irish wind energy developer Ecopower, which operates two wind farms open to the public as part of Global Wind Day said:

“We’re delighted to welcome visitors to the wind farms to mark Global Wind day. We’re very proud of our role in producing clean renewable energy for Ireland and are delighted to have the opportunity to meet with the local community and those interested in the windfarms to show them how the power of the wind is harnessed and hopefully the visitors will enjoy the experience of being on a windfarm.”   

Wind energy has delivered record output for the first five months of 2015 to the start of June, hitting a new Irish peak of 1969 MW in February, while delivering an average of 25% of Ireland’s entire electricity demand through the period.

Details about any of the wind farm events taking place throughout the country and specific details regarding opening times are available on www.iwea.com and www.windfacts.ie

Windfacts.ie is a new website launched recently to provide anyone interested in learning more about wind energy with a range of information including a real-time live feed of Irish wind energy generation.

For more information:
Robert Brown
01 4120500 rbrown@reputation-inc.com

About Global Wind Day

Wind farms with events taking place as part of the Global Wind Day celebrations include:
• Slieve Kirk Wind Farm, Co. Derry ;
• Grouselodge Wind Farm, County Limerick;
• Mountlucas Wind Farm, Mount Lucas, Co. Offaly;
• Gruig Wind Farm, Corkey, Co. Antrim;
• Ballincollig Hill Wind Farm, Co. Kerry;
• Carn Hill Wind Farm, Co. Antrim;
• Beallough Wind Farm, Co. Waterford;
• Shannagh Wind Farm, Kilcar, Co. Donegal;
• Thornog Wind Farm, Co. Tyrone;
• Raheen Barr/Derrynadivva Windfarm, Castlebar, Co Mayo;
• The Wind Turbine at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, Co Louth;
• Faughary Wind Farm, Co. Leitrim;
• Knockaneden Wind Farm, Co. Kerry;
• Carrickatane Wind Farm, County Derry;
• Ballycurreen Windfarm, County Waterford;
• Bawnmore Wind Farm, Co. Cork;
• Knocknagoum Wind Farm, Co. Kerry;
• Ballymartin Wind Farm, Co. Kilkenny;
• Leitir Gungaid Wind Farm, Co. Galway;
• Tournafulla Wind Farm, Co Limerick;
• Gibbet Hill Wind Farm, Bunclody, Co. Wexford;
• Mountain Lodge Wind Farm, Co. Cavan;

About IWEA
Established in 1993, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) is the national body representing the wind energy sector in Ireland. IWEA is committed to promoting the use of wind energy in Ireland and beyond as an economically viable and environmentally sound alternative to conventional generation and promotes awareness and understanding of wind power as the primary renewable energy resource. IWEA is also dedicated to education and awareness building, and to building the skills base of the renewable energy sector in Ireland. IWEA also supports the development of other renewable technology, particularly marine energy. IWEA has more than 200 members who incorporate all leading industry voices in Ireland. IWEA acts as a central point for information for its membership as well as a voice to promote wind energy to government. IWEA is entirely self-funded and relies on the support of its members. For more information, please visit http://www.iwea.com