ESB powers ahead

Construction on the Carrickatane Wind Farm continues to progress well for leading energy utility company ESB.

Work commenced on the Northern Ireland site in late 2011 and with everything running to schedule Carrickatane Wind Farm is due to be completed by the end of 2012.

The site at Carrickatane was selected due to its financial viability and the availability of good wind speeds, grid connection and accessibility. When fully operational it will boast 9 turbines with a combined capacity of 20.7MW and will generate power for approximately 9000 homes. The energy will be supplied to Electric Ireland.

As part of the initial construction works on Carrickatane, access roads to the site have been modified to allow large machinery to safely access the site. The turbines that are being installed will be Siemens SWT 2.3-93 and will have a hub height of 63.5m, a blade tip of 110m and a rotor diameter of 93m.

Carrickatane Wind Farm is just one of a number of wind farms in ESB’s extensive portfolio, which also includes Curryfree Wind Farm in Northern Ireland, Grouse Lodge Wind Farm in Ireland, and Crockagarran and Hunters Hill in Co. Tyrone.

Recent additions to ESB’s portfolio include England’s largest wind farm at Fullabrook in North Devon, and the 59.5MW Derrybrien Wind Farm in Co. Galway.

The company’s most recent UK acquisition is the Myndd Y Betws project in south Wales. The project was acquired from Welsh developer Eco2 in 2010 and is currently under construction with commercial operation planned for early 2013.

ESB’s business interests include the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of energy and its business strategy involves the decarbonisation of its power generation activities by 2035. It is estimated that one third of ESB’s electricity will be generated from renewable sources by 2020.

In order to facilitate sustainability targets and economic growth, ESB is developing an advanced smart networks system and sees the future of the Irish and British energy markets as one integrated trading market.  For this reason ESB has constructed generation plants in both Northern Ireland and Britain and at the end of 2010, it acquired Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) – a company with a regulated asset base of €1.2 billion.

Within its portfolio, ESB owns ESB International (ESBI) – a multidisciplinary engineering consultancy specialising in the electricity sector.  The company has acted as project manager, engineer and CDMC/PSDP for all ESB-constructed wind farm projects.

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