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Back to Press Releases 08 March 2024

ESB and Bord na Móna officially launch Ireland’s largest onshore Wind Farm at Oweninny as part of €320m investment

  • Oweninny Wind Farm in North Mayo is a 50:50 joint venture between ESB and Bord na Móna, reflecting the commitment of both organisations to supporting the Government’s target of achieving 80% renewable energy by 2030
  • Built over two phases, the 192MW wind farm is Ireland’s largest wind farm which can generate enough clean energy to meet the electricity demand of approximately 140,000 homes 

Friday, 8th March 2023 

Co Mayo, Ireland – Two of Ireland’s leading energy providers, ESB and Bord na Móna are pleased to officially launch Oweninny Wind Farm in North Mayo. Combining both phases of the Oweninny Wind Farm project, the 50:50 joint venture between the organisations is now Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm with an installed capacity of 192MW. This is enough clean energy to meet the electricity demand of approximately 140,000 homes.

The project, delivered in two phases, represents a total investment by ESB and Bord na Móna of €320m. In 2019, during phase one, 29 turbines were erected. While in late 2023, phase two, consisting of 31 turbines, entered commercial operation. The wind farm is financed by a consortium of banks including AIB, BNP Paribas and the EIB.

Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, said: "This really is a significant day for Ireland, and for Mayo, as we officially open the country’s largest onshore wind farm. This flagship project by ESB and Bord na Móna at Oweninny showcases what we can achieve, and what must be done, to deliver the clean energy we need to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuel. The power of our own natural resources is incredible. This windfarm farm has the potential to power 140,000 homes, and it is just a taste of the green energy revolution to come. I am looking forward to what will come next for wind energy in Ireland, both onshore and offshore along our coasts, as we harness our renewable energy potential.” 

Paddy Hayes, ESB Chief Executive, outlined how the project will help to support ESB’s Net Zero by 2040 targets: “Oweninny Wind Farm is another important step for ESB and for Ireland towards Net Zero. I would like to commend Bord na Móna for their partnership approach as we worked together to deliver what is now Ireland’s largest wind farm. Oweninny builds on our longstanding history of delivering projects of scale in North Mayo and the wider West of Ireland region. Renewable electricity reduces Ireland’s dependence on gas markets and contributes to Ireland’s ambitious climate action plan targets, supporting a Net Zero future for the customers and communities we serve.”  

Tom Donnellan, Chief Executive, Bord na Móna, commented: “We are delighted to launch our joint venture with ESB and officially conclude the second phase of Ireland’s largest wind farm. This marks an important milestone for Bord na Móna as it underpins our dedication to operate as climate solutions and renewable energy leader in Ireland following the completion of our Brown to Green transition at the end of 2023. In Ireland, we are putting more renewables on the grid than ever before, which is essential if we are to meet our targets of achieving 80% renewable energy by 2030. Oweninny Wind Farm represents a significant step towards meeting those targets, and we look forward to continued expansion of our wider renewables output to bolster national progress further, including developments across wind, solar, hydrogen and biomass.”

Located between Crossmolina and Bangor Erris, the development adjoins Ireland's first commercial wind farm, Bord na Móna’s Bellacorrick Wind Farm, which was built in 1992 and is still in operation.

During construction of phase two, the wind farm benefited the local economy in Connaught by around €50m as 100 people were employed each year over a six-year period. The wind farm has a Community Benefit Fund that will invest approximately €18m towards not-for-profit organisations such as community and voluntary groups, charities, social enterprises and clubs and societies whose work supports community-based initiatives and improvement projects.

The site also includes a purpose built €3m Visitor Interpretative Centre that focuses on the science, engineering and technology behind renewable energy while raising awareness of climate change and considering the landscape in which the wind farm is based. It provides insight to the history of power generation, peat production, wind energy development, the bog rehabilitation programme, ecological interests and the social history of the area.