€31.5m wind farm for Kerry

Europe’s largest renewable energy company Statkraft is to begin construction on a €31.5m wind farm project in the south-west.

The 23.1 megawatt Kilathmoy wind farm will be located on the Kerry-Limerick border and will be Statkraft’s first wind farm project in the Republic. Construction will start in November and the project is expected to be fully commissioned late next year.

The Norwegian energy company recently acquired Element Power Group’s Irish and UK wind development business, strengthening its position in Britain and introducing it to the Irish market where it has inherited a 1,300 megawatt project portfolio as a result.

The bulk of Statkraft’s operations are located in Scandinavia and eastern Europe and it also operates in India and South America. But, the Norwegian company has long-since selected Ireland as one of its new growth markets for onshore wind and solar power.

Further investments in Irish renewables fit well into its growth strategy, it said. The company’s ambition is to increase its Irish portfolio of wind power assets to 6,000 megawatts by 2025.

“Statkraft is already Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy and sees Ireland as a key market given its significant renewable energy resources. We are already playing a leading role in the transition to a low carbon future and believe that our experience and capabilities will be of service to Ireland in this transition over the coming years,” said the Norwegian company’s head of development in Ireland Kevin O’Donovan.

“We are interested in developing relationships with people from all sectors including industry, utilities and local communities where opportunities may be present, with the view to assessing how we can bring forward sustainable and appropriate renewable energy projects,” he said.

Statkraft also reported third quarter results, yesterday, showing underlying earnings of 2.68 million Norwegian Krone (€282m) for the period.

Activity in Ireland’s renewable energy market has been hotting up of late, with infrastructure firm Greencoat Renewables last month paying up to €281m to acquire most of the stakes previously held by State-backed forestry company Coillte in three wind farms.

The sites, in Wexford, Galway and Cork generate 105.1 megawatts and will increase Greencoat’s total generating capacity to 299 megawatts.

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