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 dedicated project Community Liaison Officer John Lyons. His job is to provide information and answer your queries.
John will be calling to houses in the local area, distributing newsletters and making sure you get the information that you need.
Our commitment to you
- A dedicated project Community Liaison Officer, John Lyons (pictured centre), 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
- An information webinar with a Q&A session
- A full project brochure
- A Virtual Exhibition
Supporting a local renewable energy project comes with many benefits for the community
Community Benefit Fund
Ballinagree Wind Farm has the potential to bring significant positive benefits to local communities. The project will support local employment, it will contribute annual rates to the local authority and it will provide a Community Benefit Fund in line with the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).
RESS is a policy initiative to deliver on the Government’s Climate Action Plan. 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 Neighbour payments. However, it is important that broader community benefits apply as well.
Community Benefit Fund
The scheme mandates all RESS project owners to contribute €2 per MWh annually into a community fund for the RESS contract period i.e. the first 15 years of operation. Further to this, the Ballinagree project developers commit to fund €1 per MWh annually for the remaining lifetime of the wind farm.
Ballinagree Wind Farm has the potential to produce more than 300,000 MWh of clean electricity a year. This means that the project could provide more than €600,000 per annum to the Community Benefit Fund for the first 15 years, and more than €300,000 per annum for the remainder of its operational life.
If the project does not qualify for RESS, FuturEnergy Ireland and Ørsted pledge to match these contributions.
The Government's ‘Good Practice Principles Handbook for Community Benefit Funds’ 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
Ballinagree Wind Farm has the potential to make a substantial contribution in annual rates payments to Cork 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. Pictured is local CLO John Lyons at Coláiste Muire Crosshaven. If you are interested in taking part, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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
- Join the project webinar
- Visit the Virtual Exhibition