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€23M Kerry wind farm operational

June 28

Tra Investments, a subsidiary of Lee Strand Co-operative, announced today that its €23 million wind farm project in North Kerry has just become fully operational.

The green electricity will be used by Eneriga, Ireland’s largest independent energy supplier, to provide power to businesses throughout Ireland.

The 16 turbine 13.3MW wind farm is located on three sites between North Kerry’s Stacks Mountains and Castleisland and their combined energy output would have the capability to produce enough electricity to power 14,000 homes in County Kerry.

Brendan Walsh, Chairman of Tra Investments commented, “Today marks a major step forward for Tra Investments and for our stakeholders who have continued to support this project over the past number of years despite many challenges along the way.  Renewable energy is an emerging environmentally friendly source of power in Ireland which also presents a strong commercial opportunity.  We believe our partnership with Energia will not only deliver a significant and secure long term return on investment but will also contribute to Ireland’s commitment towards a longer term sustainable energy alternative”.

Today, wind energy provides electricity to the equivalent of 40 million European citizens. Wind farms in Ireland supply enough clean green power to support over 146,000 users which is the equivalent to the domestic electricity needs of County Cork.

James Cronin of Energia commented, “We welcome the opening of the North Kerry Windfarm and we look forward to harnessing its significant generation capacity to power the increasing number of Irish businesses requesting green power.  Energia has invested significantly in developing a portfolio of renewable power to meet this growing demand for green power. We currently have over 220 MW of operational wind farms, and a further 400 MW in development, and have consistently been one of the largest investors in the renewable sector. This results in the elimination of over 350,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year from the Irish atmosphere – the equivalent of removing the emissions of over 160,000 1400cc cars from our roads.”

Enercon Ireland, who supplied the 16 turbines, has signed a twelve year maintenance agreement with Tra Investments.  Working from their maintenance base at Tralee which employs six people, they will also support other Enercon sites in Munster.

Tra Investments has signed long term land lease agreements with all landowners across the three wind farm sites.  13 landowners in the area will benefit from the investment by way of annual lease payments based on the output of the turbines.

Steve Dalton, Senior Manager, Ulster Bank Corporate Banking, who was delighted to see Tra investments’ wind farm is now providing energy to the national grid, commented, “Ulster Bank has had a long term commitment to the renewable energy sector having financed one of the first wind projects on the Island in 1997. Our €17m financing of this wind farm marks another key milestone in Ulster Bank’s commitment to being one of the leading players in the financing of renewable energy projects having been involved in the financing of over 400MW of wind energy projects in the last 12 years.”

Despite the current economic downturn, Lee Strand is optimistic about the long term financial sustainability of its current portfolio of investments which includes Tralee’s multi-storey car park, Radio Kerry and a Tralee student apartment complex.  They will also be making a significant announcement in relation to its Tralee Centrepoint development in the near future.

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