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Our Community
Engagement approach

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, Christy O'Dea and Kevin Donnellan. Their job is to provide information and answer your queries.

Christy and Kevin will be calling to houses in the local area throughout the project, distributing newsletters and making sure you get the information that you need.

CLO at workCLO at work

Our commitment to you

  • Two dedicated Community Liaison Officers Christy O'Dea (left) and Kevin Donnellan (right, pictured with fellow Clare CLO Michael McNamara), who you can contact directly by phone or email
  • 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 linked to this website
  • A Community Engagement Clinic

Supporting a local renewable energy project comes with many benefits for the community

Community Benefit Fund

Knockshanvo Wind Farm has the potential to bring significant positive benefits to local communities including 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 environmental, social and economic wellbeing of the local community.

FEI Community benefit Fund

Community Benefit Fund

The scheme mandates all RESS projects to establish a Community Benefit Fund worth €2/MWh (megawatt hour) of generated electricity for the RESS contract period. FuturEnergy Ireland also offers a further €1/MWh for the remaining lifetime of the project. The total fund depends on the final power output.

The proposed Knockshanvo Wind Farm has the potential to produce more than 135,000 MWh of electricity a year. This would support a Community Benefit Fund of an estimated €270,000 per annum for 15 years and a further ‘lifetime’ fund of €135,000 per annum for the remaining operational lifetime. This means an estimated €6 million would be contributed to the local area via the community funds.

If the project does not qualify for RESS, FuturEnergy Ireland pledges to match these contributions.

The ‘Good Practice Principles Handbook for Community Benefit Funds’, published in July 2021 by the Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications, sets out how the funds should be used and managed.

Download the RESS Handbook

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.

 

SupportingLocal Clubs, Societies, Groups, Charities, Events and Activities

Local rates contributions

Knockshanvo Wind Farm has the potential to contribute an estimated €550,000 in annual rates payments to Clare 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.

group of small nursery school children with teacher

Education

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 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. If you are interested in taking part in either of these education initiatives, please contact your local CLOs.

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
  • Attend the in-person Community Engagement Clinic
Two women talking outside