A major new wind farm is coming to Cork.
The ESB and Coillte have announced this morning that they’ve agreed that a planned project in the Ballyhoura Mountains in North Cork will proceed, financed by long-term debt from Bank of Ireland.
Planning permission for Castlepook Wind Farm was granted three years ago but has been held up to date due to the financial negotiations between the semi-state companies.
The overall investment in Castlepook is valued at €64m. Its 14 Nordex wind turbines will generate 33.1 megawatts of power, sufficient to generate power for 17,000 households annually.
ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty said of the joint venture with Coillte:
"Castlepook Wind Farm will add to ESB’s existing portfolio of 15 wind farms on the island of Ireland, and will help us achieve of our target of 1,600MW of wind generation capacity by 2025.
"We believe our wind farm investments should deliver long term social, economic and environmental benefits for everyone and we look forward to working with Coillte to delivering this at Castlepook."
In other renewables news, Microsoft confirmed on Monday that it intends to power a full data centre – located in Cheyenne, Wyoming – on wind energy alone. To do so, it has inked deals with Bloom Wind Farm in Kansas, and the Silver Sage and Happy Jack farms in Wyoming.
The Wyoming site's backup generators will burn natural gas and will also provide energy to the local community when there is high demand.
Microsoft has purchased 500 megawatts of energy from wind power sources thus far, as part of its plan to have 50% of its operations running on renewable energy by 2018.