Wind Energy Direct launches pioneering wind power project
Wind Energy Direct, an Irish owned renewable energy company, today launched an innovative wind energy installation that will deliver power directly to the Munster Joinery plant in Ballydesmond, Co Cork.
Munster Joinery is a leading Irish manufacturer of high performance windows and doors. The investment is the first large scale example of a private company generating wind on-site to power its activities in Ireland. Excess capacity can also be sold to the national grid. “This amounts to a significant breakthrough for industry in its efforts to enhance competitiveness in Ireland by helping to reduce energy costs from the start and hedging against future energy price increases," said Dominic Costello, Wind Energy Direct’s managing director. "Critically also, our projects enable industry to significantly reduce carbon emissions so it is an absolute win-win situation for them,” he added.
A "significant" proportion of Munster Joinery’s annual energy requirement will now be provided by the turbines, amounting to an estimated energy cost saving in excess of €1 million over the next five years. The installation will provide enough energy to power the equivalent of 2,262 houses, and will displace over 9,000 tonnes of carbon per annum, Wind Energy Direct said.
Sustainable Energy Ireland is providing €1 million grant support towards the project.
Energy minister Eamon Ryan added: “I want to congratulate Wind Energy Direct and Munster Joinery on the launch of this, their first project. Wind autoproduction, on which my department is currently working, allows industry to access one of our best renewable energy resources, and benefit directly from cheaper electricity and reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the long term. With support from SEI, this project is a great example of how companies can create jobs and save money. It is the green economy in action.”
Wind Energy Direct plans to develop 15 similar projects over the next four years in a total capital investment of €60m. The company employs 10 staff directly but said it expects this to grow to 30 within the next four years.
Professor Owen Lewis, chief executive of Sustainable Energy Ireland said: “There are a number of barriers to the use of wind for on-site generation which this demonstration project will help to address. SEI was delighted to provide its support for such an important project and hopes to utilise the results and experience from the Munster Joinery plant in Ballydesmond for the advancement of guidelines for industrial auto-generation. With industry in Ireland accounting for 22 per cent of our overall energy requirement, the move towards renewable energy sources is essential for our future sustainability and Wind Energy Direct is to be commended on its initiative and innovation.”