Wind Farm Academy To Boost Donegal

A National Wind Energy Academy is being established at Letterkenny Institute of Technology as part of a €500,000 initiative being backed by the Donegal County Development Board.

The first phase will see the development of a wind turbine maintenance programme which will be delivered in conjunction with BZEE, a German centre for renewable energy.

This programme is currently the only education and training programme for wind service technicians that has global recognition, and will run for 26 weeks with six weeks of industrial placement.

Outlining details about the programme, the Donegal Co Manager, Michael McLoone, said that the development of the green economy is a priority for the Donegal Co Development Board.

He wants to see Donegal become a centre of excellence for renewable energy training in Ireland.

"With the development of a National Wind Energy Academy, Donegal will be at the forefront in the provision of education and training for the wind industry on this island," he said, adding: "This industry will provide much needed jobs for this county and this nation for years to come."

As part of the programme, a wind turbine will be installed at the Letterkenny IT campus – subject to planning approval.

Donegal currently has 25 wind farms – more than any other county – with an installed capacity of 241 MW. This accounts for 15% of the national wind energy output.

Meanwhile, a number of new wind farm projects in Donegal are at various stages of the planning process.

Some having been delayed due to delays in getting connections to the national grid and there have also been difficulties in sourcing wind turbines due to demand outstripping supply.


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