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Minister opens €18m Buncrana wind farm 20.06.11

IRELAND'S renewable energy target will be mostly met through wind energy, according to Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley.
Mr McGinley was speaking at the official opening of an €18m extension to a wind farm in Buncrana on Friday.
The 10.2 megawatt extension has been built at Energia's wind farm at Drumlough Hill, 7km north of Buncrana on the Inishowen peninsula. The off-take electricity from the wind farm is being sold to business customers throughout Ireland.
“Ireland has one of the best wind resources in all of Europe, as most of us will know from day to day life. The bulk of our overall renewable energy target will be met through wind," said Mr McGinley.
"We have made great strides in Ireland in the last decade in increasing our use of renewable energy. Companies such as Energia are playing an important role in developing renewable energy projects that contribute to our objectives on energy and climate change."
Junior Minister, Dinny McGinley, far right, pictured with, from left, Deputy Joe McHugh and Energia chiefs, Tom Gillen and Peter Baillie, at the opening of the €18 million extension to Drumlough Hill wind farm, 7km north of Buncrana.
Energia hosted two open days at Drumlough Hill for the general public and local schoolchildren last week to mark Global Wind Energy Day. Events included tours of the wind farm and hand-painting of turbines.
Energia has 28% market share of the Irish business electricity and gas market, supplying more than 65,000 business customers. The company recently signed a preliminary off-take agreement to purchase the electricity generated from the pioneering Wave Energy Converter being operated by US firm Ocean Energy Systems off Belmullet, Co Mayo.
Energia Renewables managing director, Peter Baillie, said the company had invested €200 million in the last two years in over 100 megawatts of wholly-owned wind farm developments.
"Additionally, we have supported third party wind generator investments of €600 million in over 370 megawatts of wind farms throughout Ireland," said Mr Baillie.
Ireland aims to source 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
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