Meenadreen Extension is Energia's largest onshore wind farm, consisting of 38 Nordex N90 2.5MW turbines with a total capacity of 95MW. It has been operational since 2017.
Located in Leghowney, South Donegal, we are proud to host part of the Leghowney Loop Walk, the Ulster Way and International Appalachian Trail, offering spectacular views of the Bluestack Mountains, Lough Eske and St John’s Point.
The wind farm featured in Energia Renewables’ Global Wind Day 2021 video, hosted by local primary school pupil, Aoife McCabe.
Cottage renovation project
The Energia Operations team are renovating an old cottage on the Meenadreen site, which has fallen into disrepair.
A new roof will provide shelter for walkers on the Leghowney Loop trail, which winds its way through the wind farm.
Two County Donegal sisters who used to live in the cottage have welcomed the news that their old family home is to be partially renovated. Ailish O’Boyle and Mary Dawson, once better known as the Quinn sisters, have been reminiscing about life on the mountain with tales of post-war food shortages, cross-border smuggling, mountain midwifery and the traditional and modern poitín trade.
You can listen to their conversation in our podcast:
Once completed, the renovated Quinn family cottage will improve the walking trails through the wind farm, preserving an important link with its history and the local community.
We've created a special gallery page where you can view progress on the site, which has now been cleared.
Little remains of the walls but existing stone work will be rebuilt to mark out the footprint of the old family cottage.
So watch this space.
We will post operational and maintenance updates here.
Community benefit fund
Energia’s community investment is growing. We are now making over €750,000 available every year to community groups living near our wind farms across the island of Ireland. This brings Energia’s overall wind farm fund community investment to over €3m to date.
We believe local communities deserve to benefit from the construction and operation of wind farms and we’re working with Community Foundation Ireland, Community Foundation NI and the Fermanagh Trust to ensure our wind farm community benefit funds have a positive and lasting impact.
Meenadreen student bursary fund
The €90,000 Meenadreen fund is administered by Community Foundation Ireland on behalf of Energia. It has been tailored to meet the needs of the local community and now provides multi-annual grants up to €60,000 over two years for community capital projects. It also offers a local student bursary to cover tuition costs up to a maximum of €3,000 a year.
Jamie Crawford, one of the first bursary students, says: “Being selected to receive a scholarship from the Meenadreen Community Benefit Fund has been a huge help to me and has relieved some of the financial strain that attending university can bring.
“With a personal interest in renewable energy, I am now studying a BA in Education, with a special focus on climate change education and sustainability in the classroom, and I hope to bring this passion to students in the future.”
Meenadreen award-winning fund
Energia Group was delighted to win the Wind Energy Ireland (WEI) ‘Community Award’ and the ‘Overall Winner Award’ for the Meenadreen Wind Farm community benefit fund, which is administered in partnership with Community Fund Ireland.
At the WEI award ceremony in March 2022, Peter Baillie, MD Energia Renewables, said, “Winning these awards is great recognition for our team and shows that the important work we do with local communities living beside wind farms is delivering a positive impact in the areas where we operate. Our benefit funds across the island of Ireland are leading the way in ensuring that a zero carbon Ireland will invest in communities and build a stronger, energy independent Ireland.”
Working with schools
It’s breath-taking to see a wind turbine up close. The Energia Renewables Operations team are happy to facilitate school visits or classroom talks on wind energy:
Contact details and location
If you have any questions about any of our operational wind farms, development sites, bioenergy plants or renewable energy projects, please contact our Community Liaison Officers by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone +44(0) 78 80432201 or +353 (0)87 9944952. .