DUBLIN, Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Irish renewable energy development and energy storage Group, Gaelectric has today (Thursday) announced that it has secured planning approval for a further two on-shore wind energy projects in Northern Ireland located at Smulgedon, north east of Dungiven in Co. Derry, and at Monnaboy on Loughtermore Mountain, also in Co. Derry.
Both projects total to an additional 25 MW of consented wind power and bring Gaelectric's on shore portfolio with planning approvals on the island of Ireland to 130MW. Gaelectric has commenced a significant build out programme to commission 150 MW of wind generation by 2016. Its project at Skrine in Co. Roscommon was commissioned in June 2011. Its Carn Hill project outside Belfast (13.8 MW) is currently under construction and will be commissioned in Q1 2013.
Commenting on its most recent planning approvals in Northern Ireland, Group CEO Brendan McGrath said:
"We are delighted with the positive outcomes from the planning process in Northern Ireland which further de-risks our onshore portfolio in Ireland. We have now reached a stage of maturity in this end of our business where most of our projects are either at financial close, construction ready, or have consents in place, including firm grid offers.
"We are particularly pleased to be in position to offer our investors – current and future – a tangible renewable energy opportunity with clear visibility of projects and future opportunities. This is very gratifying to our internal team that has been working diligently on delivering these projects, and to our backers."
Gaelectric has appointed RBC Capital Markets as strategic investment advisers on the roll out its Irish onshore portfolio. Mr. McGrath added: "The market response from the RBC process has been very encouraging and we are confident that we will bring this part of the programme to a successful conclusion in the near term."
In addition to its onshore Ireland wind portfolio, Gaelectric has a significant US wind development business with a medium term pipeline of 510 MW of onshore generation with built transmission centered on the State of Montana by 2015, and a further longer term pipeline of 1,435 MW of generation capacity. The Group is also progressing a grid scale strategic energy storage project utilising Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) technology near the Town of Larne in Co. Antrim.