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SSE Renewables donates €1.2 million to over 400 Irish community groups

06 Sep 2022

 - €1.2 million has been donated to 416 community groups

SSE Renewables, Ireland’s leading developer, owner, and operator of renewable energy has today launched its latest Community Investment Review for 2021/2022. The report provides details of the €1.2 million that SSE Renewables has donated to 416 community groups across the country from its wind farms, including the Galway Wind Park fund, which is Ireland's largest community benefit fund.

Details of the total €1.2 million donation SSE Renewables has made to Irish communities in the last year are contained in the company’s annual Community Investment Review, published today. This funding has helped support local groups, sports organisations and schools among others to develop their facilities with energy efficiency and sustainability upgrades as well as social and environmental projects that enable community development. It is the largest-ever yearly investment made by SSE Renewables into local communities from its wind farms.

Through its annual Community Fund programme which was established in 2003, SSE Renewables has awarded over €10 million so far to 4,000 community based projects that are located closest to its wind farms. The Galway Wind Park Scholarship Fund has provided 14 scholarships for 2021/21, and 65 scholarships awarded since the launch of the programme in 2019 to local young people living near Galway Wind Park, Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm.

This funding is awarded to community groups near SSE Renewables’ wind farms that are located in Cork, Cavan, Donegal, Wexford, Monaghan, Sligo, Limerick, Kerry, Tipperary and Galway.

SSE Renewables provides voluntary funding every year to community groups in the vicinity of its wind farms in support of energy efficiency, safety and sustainability projects as well as social and environmental projects to enable community development.

The focus and priority for SSE Renewables this year has been on delivering positive impact to rural communities, supporting their ability to successfully respond to emerging priorities such as the climate emergency and to support communities recovering from the impact of the pandemic and listen to their needs and challenges post-Covid to adapt the funds to facilitate such needs.

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Renewables said: “Our community benefit funds continue to support numerous communities across Ireland and demonstrates our continued commitment to the local communities around our wind farms. Since the administration of our first community benefit fund in Ireland in 2003, we have grown to now administering over 20 community funds annually with a value of €1m per year. It is inspiring to see our funding help bring to life so many important and innovative community projects across the country.”

The company’s Community Investment Review demonstrates its continued commitment to operating in a net zero world and supporting a green economy through the delivery of new renewable energy assets to achieve a net zero future.

SSE Renewables will continue to support Ireland’s green recovery and it hopes to continue the same level of successful support to communities in the coming period of 2022/23. This autumn it will launch a community fund for Lenalea Wind Farm in Donegal, which it is co-developing with FuturEnergy Ireland. It is also working on sharing best practice with communities to become less reliant on carbon, as well as developing new digital reporting frameworks which will ensure that reporting needs for communities and joint venture partners are met.

In the offshore wind energy space, SSE Renewables has a 3GW development pipeline including its flagship Irish project the 800MW Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 which is expected to generate a community benefit fund of around €6m annually.

More information on the SSE Renewables Community Fund can be found here.