At FuturEnergy Ireland, we believe in speaking to the local community right from the start and continuing this engagement throughout the entire lifetime of the wind farm.
In our experience, there is no substitute for consulting with the community early and for this reason, we commit to carrying out the design process by placing a fundamental focus on open, honest engagement.
On the ground, we have project Community Liaison Officer Shane Lowry. His job is to provide information and answer your queries.
Shane will be calling to houses in the local area throughout the project, distributing newsletters and making sure you get the information that you need.
Our commitment to you
- A dedicated project Community Liaison Officer, Shane Lowry (far right with fellow CLOs Tom Costello and Tom Whelan), who you can contact directly via email or telephone. We welcome your feedback and comments
- Regular newsletter updates
- All updates added to this website
- The opportunity to meet a team specialist or consultant relevant to your query
- A full project brochure
- A Virtual Exhibition linked to this website
Supporting a local renewable energy project comes with many benefits for the community
Community Benefit Fund
Croaghaun Wind Farm has the potential to provide a Community Benefit Fund in line with the Government's Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).
An important feature of RESS is that all projects must establish a Community Benefit Fund to be used for the wider environmental, social and economic wellbeing of the local community.
Those living in closest proximity should be priority beneficiaries and that is why some of the fund is designated for near neighbours. However, it is important that broader community benefits apply as well.
Community Benefit Fund
The scheme mandates all RESS projects to establish a Community Benefit Fund worth €2 per MWh (megawatt hour) of generated electricity for any future wind farm for the RESS contract period i.e. the first 15 years of operation. The total fund per annum depends on the final power output.
FuturEnergy Ireland also offers a further €1 per MWh contribution for the remaining lifetime of the project. If the project does not qualify for RESS, FuturEnergy Ireland pledges to match these contributions.
Croaghaun Wind Farm has the potential to produce more than 100,000 MWh of clean electricity a year. This means that the project could contribute approximately €200,000 per annum to a Community Benefit Fund for 15 years.
The ‘Good Practice Principles Handbook for Community Benefit Funds’, published in July 2021 by the Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications, sets out how the funds should be used and managed.
What does your community need?
When it comes to the Community Benefit Fund, communities will be at the centre of the decision-making process, which gives them the opportunity to develop a strategy to maximise the benefits.
One particular focus of the fund is to support local initiatives that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals such as home and community hall retrofits, pollinator farms, cycling paths, educational material and scholarships, and sports club activities.
Local rates contributions
Croaghaun Wind Farm has the potential to make a substantial contribution in annual rates payments to Carlow County Council, an important contributor in exchequer funding.
This would have a positive impact on the development of local infrastructure such as roads, public transport, lighting, street cleaning, libraries, fire services, public amenities and employment.
FuturEnergy Ireland works with Steam Education by sponsoring their ‘Climate in a Box’ lessons for national schools in areas close to our wind farms. This series of five lessons, given by the class teacher, are a fun, interactive way to learn about climate change, sustainability and how we can all be more ecofriendly.
We are also running a pilot programme in areas of Cork where we have live projects, whereby our Community Liaison Officers go into secondary schools and run a ‘Renewable Energy & You’ session, especially for Transition Year students. If you are interested in taking part in this pilot, please contact email@example.com
Have your say
It’s important for us to be good neighbours and we take this responsibility very seriously. We welcome feedback from the community throughout the lifetime of this project.
There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Speak to a Community Liaison Officer, either in person, by phone or via email
- Arrange a meeting with the Community Liaison Officer
- Visit the Virtual Exhibition