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How students, farmers and priests are powering 3,500 homes

A community-owned windfarm in Tipperary can generate enough power to supply Nenagh with electricity.

Paul Kenny, CEO Tipperary Energy Agency, Minister Pat Rabbitte, John Fogarty, Chairman of the Templederry Community Wind Farm.
Paul Kenny, CEO Tipperary Energy Agency, Minister Pat Rabbitte, John Fogarty, Chairman of the Templederry Community Wind Farm.
Image: Tipperary Energy Agency

AN UNLIKELY COALITION of students, farmers and a local priest have joined together to take ownership of a wind farm in Tipperary.

The Templederry Community Wind Farm, which was opened this week by Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte, can produce enough electricity to power the town of Nenagh.

The group is now producing green electricity and selling it to the grid, producing approx 15GWh yearly, enough to power 3,500 houses.

Chairman of the Templederry group John Fogarty says that the farm is about more than clean energy.

“Local ownership of wind farms is vital to the regeneration of rural Ireland.

Exporting our energy will enable local children to attend third level colleges, generate investment, support local businesses and secure the long term viability of our community.

After a feasibility study in 1999, work on the project began in earnest in 2003. However, it was not until last November that it began producing wind energy.

image

Pat Rabbite cuts the ribbon in Templederry.

Paul Kenny, CEO of the Tipperary Energy Agency said that the Tipperary model should be followed across the country.

“A new model like Templederry is needed. In Denmark and Germany most wind farms have an aspect of community ownership.  Even if it is only 10%, it is still vital.  The key challenge in Ireland is to engage communities in ownership or co-ownership of wind developments.”

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