Ørsted is developing a new wind energy proposal to repower the Owenreagh I & II Wind Farms which have been operational since 1997 and 2008 respectively, and to modify and extend the consented Craignagapple Wind Farm which received planning permission in 2018 but has yet to be constructed.
With 14 wind turbines, this wind energy proposal would increase the total installed capacity across Owenreagh I & II Wind Farms and the consented turbines at Craignagapple from 24 MW to somewhere between 56 MW and 67 MW depending on the final candidate turbine selection and the final granted design. Such an increase would make a significant contribution towards helping meet the growing demand for renewable energy generation in Northern Ireland and help the transition to a low carbon future.
The operational Owenreagh I & II Wind Farms are located on the western edge of the Sperrin Mountains on Owenreagh Hill, approximately 6 km south east of Artigarvan village, Co. Tyrone, and lie within the Derry City and Strabane District Council (“DCSDC”) area.
The Owenreagh I & II Wind Farms are currently operational and generate ~26.5GWh/year, enough to power ~8,250* homes. The site has an extensive wind energy history: Owenreagh Wind Farm I
Ten 0.55 MW turbines, which have been operational since 1997. One of the ten turbines has since been removed, and the site has an installed capacity of 4.95 MW. Removing these older turbines would allow us to replace them with taller, more powerful models to make better use of the excellent wind resource at this location.
Owenreagh Wind Farm II
Six further turbines, of 0.85 MW each, which have been operational since 2009, with a total installed capacity of 5.1 MW. These turbines will also be removed and replaced with taller, more efficient ones as part of this project.
Current Craignagapple Consent
Consent was granted in 2018 for the construction and operation of six turbines adjacent to Owenreagh. The capacity of the site if constructed would be in the region of 14 MW. Similar to the plans for Owenreagh I & II we are proposing using taller, more powerful turbines which will help maximise the electricity generated from this location.
Proposed Turbine Layout for this Development
The proposed development consists of 14 new turbines with tip height of 156.5m. The final turbine locations and infrastructure design was informed by a number of different constraints, particularly avoiding areas of active peat and the deepest areas of peat. It is expected that the current layout is the one that will be submitted for planning permission. However, there may be changes required arising from further consultation with statutory consultees and after taking on board feedback from the upcoming consultation events
In putting together this design we have taken into account local feedback from the previous community consultation events, and that of DfI Planning and statutory consultees such as Environmental Health (noise), NIEA-NED (ecology including peat) and Landscape Architects Branch (Landscape and Visual Impact).
The map below shows the key infrastructure, including turbines, turbine hardstands, access roads, substation and temporary construction compounds. More details on the design of these features and the associated earth and drainage works will be available in the planning application and will be incorporated within the planning application red line boundary.
How to get Involved
Ørsted and the wider project team held the first public consultation events in November 2021 and were very happy to meet local residents and other stakeholders. The feedback we received was used to inform the current wind farm design. Our second public consultation event will be held on 30th November at the Fir Trees Hotel in Strabane and 1st December at Owen Roes’ Club Rooms in Glenmornan. We will present the design proposed to be submitted for assessment to the planning authority, outline the many ways in which this project could bring positive benefit to the local area, and explain how you can engage with the planning process. It will provide another opportunity for the community and other stakeholders to meet and put questions to our project team.
We will advertise it through public notices in local newspapers (The Strabane Chronicle & Strabane Weekly News) and posters advertising the events in local villages and settlements. Project consultation event invites and project information leaflets will be issued to homes and businesses located within a 3 km radius of the windfarm site.
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Owenreagh/Craignagapple Wind Farm
Planning Application to be submitted to the Department for Infrastructure
Further Community Consultation Public Events to take place
Planning application amalgamation and review
Final wind farm design to be completed (incorporating survey findings and feedback)
First Community Consultation Public Events took place to share initial design with local community
Detailed environmental and engineering studies began
DfI deemed the project to be regionally significant
Environmental Assessment and Planning team appointed
Additional ecological studies commenced
Required two-year ecological studies completed
General ecological studies began in the wider study area
November 2022: Booking now open for our second Pre-Application Community Consultation Events
November 2022: Third leaflet distributed to all houses within 3km of the proposed wind farm.
August 2022: Due to ongoing delays with the planning scoping process, the second community consultation event has been postponed until November 2022 and planning submission is now expected in Spring 2023
February 2022: Due to ongoing delays with the planning scoping process, the second community consultation event has been postponed until August/September 2022 and planning submission is now expected in Winter 2022
November 2021: First community consultation events held at Fir Trees Hotel in Strabane and Owen Roes’ GAC club rooms in Glenmornan
November 2021: Second leaflet distributed to community and other stakeholders
November 2021: Booking now open for our Pre-Application Community Consultation events.
October 2021: Update Flyer circulated to all homes within 3km of the development
October 2021: Planning submission now planned for Summer 2022 and first community consultation event planned for week commencing 22nd November 2021
September 2021: First leaflet distributed to community and other stakeholders
July 2021: EIA Scoping and PAD Report submitted to DfI
May 2021: DfI Planning has confirmed that the project is considered regionally significant and they will be determining the planning application
April 2021: Section 26 determination submitted to Department for Infrastructure
Community Benefit Fund
As long-term owners, developers, and operators of renewable energy assets we seek to be active partners in the communities in which we develop projects.
We believe in giving back to the communities in which we work. In line with funds we have established in Scotland, we intend to offer an annual fund of £5,000 per MW. Depending on the final project design, this means a total fund of £250k-£360k per year which will be shared between community organisations surrounding the development. It will provide financial support to worthwhile initiatives that benefit the local community and local council area, enhance the local economy, and build social infrastructure.
We emphasise support to organisations that engage in:
- Community Services
- Educational Programmes
- Medical and Health Assistance
- Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
How will the Community Benefit Fund be distributed?
It is essential for Ørsted that Community Benefit Funds are distributed in an open and transparent manner. We believe that the process should be designed and decided on by the community. We usually engage an independent organisation with experience in managing community funds to assist us with the process, from consulting the local community on the design and management of the fund, inviting applications to the fund, recruiting a panel to review applications, to distributing funds to successful projects. If you are interested in becoming involved in this process, please let us know and we will contact you once it begins.
Wind turbines harness the power of the wind to generate renewable electricity. Wind is one of the world’s fastest growing renewable energy sources and has become a major component in the energy mix. Wind power is clean, cost effective and does the same job as fossil fuels but generates less waste. Northern Ireland has one of Europe’s strongest wind resources creating significant potential for the deployment of wind power to increase the proportion of energy produced from renewable sources. This trend is expected to continue as:
The costs of wind energy continue to fall
Threats to energy security persist across the globe
The need to tackle climate change becomes increasingly urgent
For the year up to November 2020, 49.4% of total electricity consumption in Northern Ireland was generated from renewable sources located in Northern Ireland, the highest rolling twelve-month period to date. Wind energy contributed almost 85% of all renewable electricity during this period. (source: https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/articles/electricity-consumption-and-renewable-generation-statistics)
The recently adopted Northern Ireland Energy Strategy (Department for Economy) contains an ambitious 70% renewable electricity target by 2030, with flexibility to increase this target if it is achieved. One of the key ways to achieve this target is by increasing the proportion of renewable energy in the electricity sector. The recent energy crisis has highlighted our over-reliance on fossil fuels from overseas. Installing wind farms, such as this one, will help to secure Northern Ireland’s energy independence and help to shield us from excessive fossil fuel prices.