The amount of onshore wind power connected to the Northern Ireland grid has reached the 1 gigawatt (GW) mark for the first time. New data from NIE Networks shows 1029MW of onshore wind connected to the grid, comprising 22% of Northern Ireland’s electricity in the 12 months to the end of March.
This year has seen significant delivery of large onshore wind projects, representing £127.4million of local investment since the beginning of 2017. The growth has contributed to official figures published this month showing that in the 12-month period from April 2016 to March 2017 renewable sources contributed 27.1% of all NI electricity needs.
In the UK as a whole, onshore wind currently provides 6% of electricity, so proportionately Northern Ireland is way ahead in terms of generation from this power source.
Onshore wind is now by far the leading source of clean electricity in Northern Ireland, representing 78% of installed renewable capacity. With world-leading grid management systems, the network is dealing with increasingly high levels of renewables, maximising the growth potential of these technologies.
Northern Ireland’s onshore wind industry has attracted £127.4m of local investment in 2017 alone, and hosts major onshore projects from developers including SSE, RES and local company Gaelectric.