Energia Renewables community investment

Community benefit funds

We’re proud of our track record in community investment in the areas where we operate. Our wind farm benefit funds, sponsorships and near neighbour payment schemes now provide around €800,000 every year to communities around our wind farms.

Community benefit funds and investment

Energia believes local communities deserve to benefit from the construction and operation of its wind farms.  We work with the Community Foundation Ireland, Community Foundation NI (CFNI) and the Fermanagh Trust to ensure our funding has the maximum positive and lasting impact in the areas where we operate.

We are now investing around €800,000 every year in our benefit funds, wind farm sponsorships and local electricity discount schemes for those households in the immediate vicinity of our new developments.  The company’s overall wind farm community investment to date is around €4.5 million – and growing.

Meenadreen Wind Farm Fund, Co. Donegal

Our Meenadreen benefit fund is designed to have maximum impact and a one-off €6,000 grant for outdoor cafe seating at the Bluestack Special Needs Foundation in Donegal Town is paying dividends.

The café provides work experience for young adults with additional needs.  It also offers good food and – thanks to a grant from the Meenadreen fund – an all-year-round covered meeting space.  

CEO Wendy McCarry says the centre is always looking to expand its activities: “The covered seating area saw our profits jump to €18,000 last year and that’s thanks to the Meenadreen Wind Farm fund, which recognised the positive impact this project has on our centre users and the wider community. The money is being re-invested in our training programmes."

Meenadreen student bursary

The Meenadreen Wind Farm fund, like all our funds, is  tailored to the needs of the local community and prioritises energy efficiency and sustainability goals.

In addition to allocating community project grants, the annual €90,000 fund operates a local bursary scheme, covering higher education tuition fees for a small number of local students.  This new initiative was the result of a community group workshop and was awarded the Overall Winner trophy at the 2022 Wind Energy Ireland Awards.

Most funds are fully subscribed but, where funding is not fully allocated, it ‘rolls over’ to the following year and grant sizes are reviewed in conjunction with the local community.

For more information visit https://www.communityfoundation.ie/

Derrysallagh Wind Farm Fund, Co. Sligo

First Friends Playschool in Geevagh, County Sligo, was one of the first community groups to benefit from our Derrysallagh Wind Farm fund. The playgroup, which caters for local children between the ages of 3 and 5, received over €5,000 for a new swing, slide, seesaw, garden shed and outdoor shelter.

Dermot MacDermott, Chair of the First Friends’ Board of Directors, says the playschool has an important role, “We want to offer parents in Geevagh a chance for their children to build friendships that can last a lifetime and strengthen our sense of community in the village.”

For more information visit https://www.communityfoundation.ie/

Long Mountain Wind Farm Fund, Co. Antrim

The Long Mountain Windfarm community benefit fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland on behalf of Energia and offers funding to community groups within a five-mile radius of Long Mountain and the nearby Glenbuck Windfarm.

The Cloughmills Community Action Team received £900 to expand the activities of their Men’s Shed project.

For more information visit: https://www.communityfoundationni.org/

Tyrone Three Fund, Co. Tyrone

By combining the annual community investment in our Altamuskin, Eshmore and Gortfinbar wind farms into one single ‘Tyrone Three’ fund, we’re able to offer community groups an opportunity to apply for larger grants, whilst still making smaller amounts available for a wide range of activities and projects. 

Grants are available for local community projects within a five-mile radius of the centre of the three wind farms.

Cooley Primary School and Nursery Unit in Sixmilecross used their grant to install a polytunnel in a new outdoor learning area.  Some pupils have enjoyed growing their own fruit and veg so much that they now say they are interested in pursuing a career in horticulture.

For more information visit: https://www.communityfoundationni.org/

Rathsherry Wind Farm Fund, Co. Antrim

The Rathsherry Wind Farm fund in County Antrim covers Broughshane and the surrounding area and is administered by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.

Dojo Juniors is a mixed martial arts charity which received £2,500 to pay for ju-jitsu training and equipment costs.

David Toney, who manages The Dojo martial arts centre in Ballymena, says, “The Dojo Juniors are unbelievably grateful to Energia for supporting our project. Much of our work was restricted during the Covid pandemic and this funding helped keep our outreach work going."

For more information visit: https://www.communityfoundationni.org/

Thornog Wind Farm Fund, Co. Tyrone

The annual Thornog community benefit fund now totals over £50,000 a year and opens for applications every autumn.

Community groups and charitable organisations operating within seven miles of the wind farm, near Drumquin, Ederney and Lack, can apply for funding. Grants range from £500 up to £10,000 and are available for projects which promote sustainability.

The fund encourages cross-community collaboration and joint applications from groups working together with a shared goal, such as the Ederney Community Development Trust and Rural Community Group.

For more information visit: https://www.communityfoundationni.org/

Cornavarrow and Slieveglass Wind Farm Funds, Co. Tyrone

We have set up a joint Cornavarrow and Slieveglass community benefit fund, which is administered by the Fermanagh Trust on behalf of Energia.  Over the 25-year lifetime of the two wind farms, the fund will provide £2.4 million in community grants.

Peter Baillie, Managing Director of Energia Renewables, says, “It’s great to see the wide range of community initiatives that our wind farm benefit funds are supporting. We want our funds to have a lasting legacy and, thanks to the Fermanagh Trust, we’re seeing more and more groups coming up with new project ideas to benefit the local community.”

For more information visit: https://www.fermanaghtrust.org  

Teiges Wind Farm Fund, Co. Fermanagh

Teiges Wind Farm operates a community benefit fund, which now totals over £65,000 a year.  The annual fund is administered by the Fermanagh Trust on behalf of Energia.

The local Brookeborough preschool group, the Playstation, applied for a grant to help purchase new children’s furniture. The Teiges fund has also helped contribute towards the resurfacing of the play and kitchen area.

For more information visit https://www.fermanaghtrust.org


Contact Details

If you have any questions about our wind farm community benefit funds, please contact our Community Liaison Officers by email at clo@energia.ie, or phone +44 (0)78 80432201 or +353 (0)87 9944952.