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.
On the ground, we have two dedicated project Community Liaison Officers, Michael McNamara and Kevin Donnellan. Their job is to provide information and answer your queries.
Michael and Kevin will call to houses in the local area, distributing newsletters and making sure you get the information that you need.
Our commitment to you
- Dedicated project Community Liaison Officers Michael McNamara (centre) and Kevin Donnellan (right, pictured with fellow Clare CLO Christy O'Dea) 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 pre-planning information webinar with a Q&A session
- A full project brochure
- A Virtual Exhibition linked to this website pre-planning
- A Community Engagement Clinic (depending on Covid-19 restrictions)
Supporting a local renewable energy project comes with many benefits for the community
Community Benefit Fund
Carrownagowan Wind Farm will bring a Community Benefit Fund to the local community 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 projects to establish a Community Benefit Fund worth €2 per MWh (megawatt hour) of generated electricity for any future wind farm. Therefore, the project owners are required to contribute €2 per MWh annually into a community fund for the RESS contract period i.e. the first 15 years of operation. The total fund per annum will depend on the final power output of a successful project.
FuturEnergy Ireland also offers a further €1 per MWh contribution for the remaining lifetime of the proposed Carrownagowan development. If the project does not qualify for RESS, FuturEnergy Ireland pledges to match these contributions.
If this project is constructed as designed, up to €11 million will be available in the local area for community funding over the lifetime of the project.
The ‘Good Practice Principles Handbook for Community Benefit Funds’, published in July 2021 by the Government, 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.
ne 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
Carrownagowan Wind Farm will make a substantial contribution in annual rates payments to Clare County Council, an important contributor in exchequer funding.
This will 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 is sponsoring Steam Education's ‘Climate in a Box’ lessons for national schools close to Carrownagowan Wind Farm in Spring 2023. 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.
In December 2022, our Community Liaison Officers in Co Clare teamed up with Dundalk IT Learn Renewables and went into Scariff Community College and St Anne's Community College in Killaloe to run TY workshops on renewable energy, which included building a mini turbine. The CLOs were delighted to see so many TY students interested in renewable energy - and a good few budding engineers among them.
If you would like your school to be involved, 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 a project webinar
- Arrange a meeting with a member of the project team