At FuturEnergy Ireland, we believe in speaking to the local community right from the start and continuing this engagement throughout the entire lifetime of the wind farm.
On the ground, we have two dedicated project Community Liaison Officers, Eamonn Keavney and Tom Costello. Their job is to provide information and answer your queries.
Eamonn and Tom will be calling to houses in the local area throughout the project, distributing newsletters and making sure you get the information that you need.
Our commitment to you
- Dedicated project Community Liaison Officers who you can contact directly via email or telephone. We welcome your feedback and comments
- Regular newsletter updates
- All updates added to this website
- The opportunity to meet a team specialist or consultant relevant to your query
- A full project brochure
Supporting a local renewable energy project comes with many benefits for the community
Community Benefit Fund
Croagh Wind Farm has the potential to bring significant positive benefits to the local community. The project will support local employment, it will contribute annual local authority rates and it will provide a Community Benefit Fund in line with the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).
RESS is a policy initiative to deliver on the Government’s Climate Action Plan. An important feature of RESS is that all projects must establish a Community Benefit Fund to be used for the wider environmental, social and economic wellbeing of the local community.
Those living in closest proximity to the project should be priority beneficiaries and that is why some of the fund is designated for Near Neighbour payments. However, it is important that broader community benefits apply as well.
If constructed as proposed, Croagh Wind Farm would deliver an estimated Community Benefit Fund in excess of €5 million to the local community over its 30 years in operation.
Community Benefit Fund
The scheme mandates all RESS projects to establish a Community Benefit Fund worth €2 per MWh (megawatt hour) of generated electricity for any future wind farm.
Therefore, the project owners are required to contribute €2 per MWh annually into a community fund for the RESS contract period i.e. the first 15 years of operation. The total fund per annum will depend on the final power output of a successful project.
FuturEnergy Ireland also offers a further €1 per MWh contribution for the remaining lifetime of the proposed Croagh development. If the project does not qualify for RESS, FuturEnergy Ireland pledges to match these contributions.
The ‘Good Practice Principles Handbook for Community Benefit Funds’, published in July 2021 by the Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications, sets out how the funds should be used and managed.
What does your community need?
When it comes to the Community Benefit Fund, communities will be at the centre of the decision-making process.
One particular focus of the fund is to support local initiatives that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals such as home and community hall retrofits, pollinator farms, cycling paths, educational material and scholarships, and sports club activities.
If you have suggestions or ideas about local projects that could be funded, please get in touch with CLOs Eamonn or Tom.
Local rates contributions
Croagh Wind Farm has the potential to provide an estimated €850,000 in annual rates payments for 30 years over the lifetime of the project, which makes it an important contributor to exchequer funding.
This would have a positive impact on the development of local infrastructure such as roads, public transport, lighting, street cleaning, libraries, fire services, public amenities and employment.
FuturEnergy Ireland is working with Steam Education by sponsoring their ‘Climate in a Box’ lessons. This series of five lessons, given by the class teacher, are a fun, interactive way to learn about climate change, sustainability and how we can all be more ecofriendly. Through the coordination of our CLOs, around 300 children in nine schools within the local and wider Croagh area have taken part in these practical, engaging classes, including pupils at Sooey NS, Co. Sligo, pictured left.
We also offer ‘Renewable Energy & You’ workshops, especially for Transition Year students, to schools in areas near our projects. Pupils at Lough Allen College in Drumkeeran have already participated. Please contact our CLOs if you would like us to visit your school.
Have your say
It’s important for us to be good neighbours and we take this responsibility very seriously. We welcome feedback from the community throughout the lifetime of this project.
There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Speak to a Community Liaison Officer, either in person, by phone or via email
- Join the project webinar
- Visit the Virtual Exhibition
- Attend the in-person Community Engagement Clinic