Phase one complete as Ireland's largest wind farm rises in Galway

Ireland’s wind sector took another step forward as SSE finished the first phase of the 169MW Galway Wind Park, which will be the nation’s largest when fully completed.

The UK-based utility built the 66MW first stage of the project using 22 3MW Siemens turbines after a construction period lasting two and a half years.

SSE has linked with Irish forestry group Coillte for the second phase  of the wind farm – officially called Comhlacht Gaoithe Teoranta – which will also use Siemens machines and is due for completion in the autumn of this year.

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James O’Hara, SSE’s project manager for Galway Wind Park, said: “This is a huge achievement for our project team, and it comes after years of hard work from everyone of involved. Phase one is an impressive wind farm in its own right, and its completion is a major milestone in the context of the overall Galway Wind Park project.”

Galway Wind Park will outstrip Ireland’s current largest onshore project, a 95MW facility in County Donegal.

It will help Ireland pursue its 2020 EU renewables share target of 16%, a goal the country is currently struggling to hit.

Ireland ended 2016 with 2.8GW of wind in place after adding 384MW last year, according to WindEurope.

SSE has a total of 1.8GW of wind in operation across the UK and Ireland, and expects to add more than 500MW additional onshore capacity in the 2017/18 financial year.