ESB helps communities near Cork wind farm

30 May 2020
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

Corporate Social Responsibility from ESB

ESB has launched a special Covid-19 response emergency fund for the communities surrounding its wind farms across the island of Ireland and the UK, including Castlepook in North County Cork. Castlepook is a rural area near the Limerick border, being West of Mitchelstown and East of Charleville.

Castlepook Wind Farm is a renewable energy project developed and operated by Castlepook Power DAC., a wholly-owned subsidiary of ESB. The wind farm which entered commercial operation in 2018 features 14 wind turbines with the combined ability to generate 33.3 MW which is enough to power over 20,000 homes. Castlepook’s Community Fund launched in 2016 and will operate annually for the lifetime of the wind farm.

The aim of the fund – amounting to a total of €238,000– is to deliver targeted services and support to the most vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic. ESB employees located in the vicinity of our wind farms can also volunteer their services to support projects in their communities as part of its staff volunteer programme during these challenging times.

The emergency fund will be administered by SECAD, a local development company experienced in supporting communities to maximise the use of community funding. Application are welcome from existing community-based not-for-profit and voluntary organisations involved in the current provision of community services and supplies such as food, medicines, PPE and educational material. These projects should complement the support measures that are currently being rolled out by local authorities and others, such as The Community Call initiative.

Welcoming the funding, Frank Kelly, ESB Wind Operations Stakeholder Manager, said:

“At ESB, we want our wind farms to have clear and lasting benefits for all. Now, more than ever, we want to support our communities during these unprecedented times. As witnessed in recent months, people all over the country are working together to look after our most vulnerable through the provision of essential supplies and services. Through the establishment of this special Covid-19 wind farm community fund, we can help ensure that such good work can continue.”

Each year, ESB provides almost €1m in funding to community-based, non-for-profit and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of its wind farms across the island of Ireland and the UK.

This wind farm targeted emergency response fund is one of a number of initiatives being rolled out by ESB to support people and communities. It is currently working with Camara Education and Trinity Access to distributed refurbished laptops to students who urgently need them to continue to their studies. ESB has also added additional support to its Energy for Generation Fund to further support organisations and charities.

The fund is now open for applications and interested organisations in the Republic of Ireland can apply to SECAD’s website at https://www.windfarmcommunityfunds.ie/

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