Approximately 10 km north of Donegal Town, Co. Donegal.
ScottishPower Renewables has owned and operated the existing operational Barnesmore Windfarm for over 20 years. The site currently consists of 25 x 600 kilowatt (kW) wind turbines of 61m to tip height, generating 15 megawatts (MW) of renewable power. The current site has consent to operate in perpetuity.
Whilst the current turbines perform well, newer more modern technology is available which is more reliable and capable of producing more energy. On this basis, we are planning to repower the windfarm, resulting in reuse of the site with fewer, larger, more efficient, modern turbines of greater capacity.
Repowering the operational Barnesmore Windfarm will involve the removal of the existing 25 turbines and replacing them with up to 13, 4-6 MW turbines of up to 180m to tip height. The benefits of this are an increased overall generating capacity from the site, from 15 MW to potentially over 70 MW, as well as a reduction to almost half the total number of turbines within the site. A key part of the design strategy was to redevelop the site within the existing infrastructure footprint as far as possible.
There is likely to be up to 13 turbines. We also plan to include 15 MWs of co-located energy storage as part of the repowering of the site.
Depending on the size and number of turbines, the generating capacity of the repowered Barnesmore Windfarm will be in the region of 70 MW.
SPR submitted an application for planning consent to An Bord Pleanála as a Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID), in accordance with Section 37E of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), in December 2019.
An Bord Pleanála have now determined the application and have issued an order granting a 10 year permission for the proposal. SPR is pleased that this will provide the opportunity to greatly increase the volume of green electricity produced at the site.
Early consultation is key to the way ScottishPower Renewables develops its projects, and throughout the development process we will strive to ensure local communities and stakeholders are given the opportunity to provide feedback and are kept informed of project progress.
The first round of Public Information Days (PIDs) was held in May 2019, and a second round was held in October 2019.
For more information about the project, please see the banners displayed at our most recent PIDs below:
We are committed to being a responsible developer of renewable energy and we strive to be good neighbours in all areas of our work. In recent years we have voluntarily provided community benefit packages on all new development projects to enable the local communities hosting a windfarm to share in the benefits. If consented, it is proposed that the repowering of Barnesmore Windfarm will offer a community benefit package.
Our operational windfarms have to date contributed more than the equivalent of €34 million of support towards community initiatives with the preferred approach being to empower local communities to determine how the fund is used to the greatest benefit locally. This has resulted in a wide range of initiatives being delivered; from improving local amenities including town halls, cinemas and local youth clubs, to supporting work experience places, educational workshops and much more. SPR would welcome contact from local community groups interested in registering to be part of community benefit discussions.
Economic analysis considered as part of the EIA estimated that the repower will have a capital expenditure of approximately €90m, and a further €105m of operational expenditure (considered over an indicative 24-year period) with an estimated 17% of this expenditure potentially being retained in the economy of the local region. It is estimated that the initial decommissioning and construction phase of the repowering will create around 50-60 jobs.
The Project Team can be contacted directly by email