Meenadreen Scholarship Fund

Meenadreen wind farm fund creates local student scholarship and increases grants for larger-scale projects



Local students and communities urged to apply ahead of January 15th deadline

Green energy provider, Energia, and the Community Foundation for Ireland are pleased to announce a new student scholarship scheme as part of the €90,000 annual Meenadreen wind farm benefit fund in south Donegal.

The new strand to the established community fund is designed to support local students who are undertaking an undergraduate or postgraduate course and will prioritise areas of study which focus on sustainability. Funding will be provided to cover tuition costs up to a maximum of €3,000 for undergraduates and partial funding for postgraduate students will be considered.  All funds will be paid directly to the educational institution.  In certain cases, a small stipend of up to €500 for travel and living expenses may also be provided. 

Applications from students whose home address is located within 10km of the Meenadreen wind farm will be prioritised but students living within a radius of up to 14km may also apply. 

The Managing Director of Energia Renewables, Peter Baillie, says the new scholarship will help make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of young people living in the vicinity of the Meenadreen wind farm:

"For the past two years, we have been working with Donegal County Council on its home retrofit programme.  Retrofiting will still be a funding priority, in line with government sustainability objectives.  However, we are now able to offer this exciting student scholarship. While allowing local community groups to apply for larger-scale infrastructure grants.

“Energia is committed to being a good neighbour and supporting local communities in the area in which we operate.”

The Meenadreen community benefit fund administered by the Community Foundation for Ireland on behalf of Energia.  It provides grants to community groups operating within 10km of the wind farm. 

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland, says this year’s changes were made in response to a review of the fund and community feedback:

“Young people represent the future of south Donegal. It is their energy, skills and passion which will ensure that rural areas are at the forefront in delivering the sustainable jobs of the future.

“By offering support for local community infrastructure it is also helps ensure that, when students return home from college or university, they will be coming back to vibrant communities.

“I would encourage parents of students who are currently away studying to make them aware of the opportunity now being made available. Communities should also be looking at the opportunities being presented by the fund and make their applications, either for charitable work or for infrastructure projects.”

Three strands of funding are available to applicants:

  • Strand One - General support to local non-profit and charitable organisations up to a maximum of €10,000.
  • Strand Two – Large-scale local infrastructure projects up to the value of €60,000 over two years.
  • Strand Three – Student scholarship scheme.

To find out more about the Energia Meenadreen Windfarm scholarship and annual community benefit fund and apply for funding visit 

Further information is available from the Community Foundation grants team on 01 8747354.

Extended online media campaign to commence in December 2020.

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Notes to Editors


Scholarship Funding

  • Scholarships for undergraduate studies will only cover an individual’s first undergraduate degree cost, i.e. students repeating a year or undertaking a second degree will not be eligible.
  • For all public universities in the ROI, the scholarship will cover a recipient’s registration fees (€3,000 per annum).
  • Scholarships for courses taking place in NI will be awarded at the same rate, i.e. a maximum of €3,000, albeit at the sterling equivalent.
  • Stipends of up to €500 per annum to cover travel/living expenses may also be considered.
  • Scholarships will be paid to the educational institution and not directly to any individual.