Bord na Móna’s Catherine Swaine was the overall winner at the inaugural Irish Wind Industry Awards, which were held in Dublin at the end of January. More than 300 people from Ireland’s leading renewable energy companies were joined by Minister Richard Bruton TD and MC, broadcaster Ivan Yates, at the Clontarf Castle hotel to celebrate the award winners who are leading the way to a carbon free energy future for Ireland. "I would like to congratulate each winner on their award,” said Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton TD. Ireland must become a leader not a follower in wind energy and each winner of these awards is a leader. Wind energy both onshore and offshore are and will be crucial to how we respond to our responsibilities in this area." Offaly’s Catherine Swaine walked away with the overall award of the night for her work co-ordinating public visits to the Bord na Móna Mountlucas wind farm.

Opening up the Mountlucas wind farm

Her passion for green energy and her drive to open up wind farms to schools, community groups and local people has brought thousands of visitors to the Offaly site. Parkruns, weddings, even Santa Claus have all made a visit to Mountlucas under her watch. “I love my job and I love welcoming people to the wind farm, many seeing wind energy in operation for the first time,” Swaine told us after receiving her award. “It is a real honour to accept this award on behalf of Mountlucas wind farm and Bord na Móna. "It is also on behalf of the community there, if it wasn’t for their support it wouldn’t have been the success that it is.” Mayo’s Brendan Heneghan, operations director with Ionic Consulting, was another big winner on the night taking home the Person of the Year Award. “The wind industry has given me the chance to work throughout rural Ireland doing something as important as building renewable energy,” said Heneghan. “In the 15 years I have been working in wind I have seen it grow to a point where we now have 30 per cent of our electricity generated from wind. I honestly wouldn’t want to do anything else.” “These awards showcase the great work being done in the wind industry in Ireland,” said CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association Dr David Connolly. “As leaders in renewable energy we have a great responsibility to do all we can to drive Ireland’s energy transition. "Our winners tonight highlight the amazing work going on to reach this milestone with a wealth of cutting-edge innovation, excellence in operation and maintenance, and an impressive record in health and safety in the industry. “These awards have shone a light on the many wind champions working across the country.” IWEA is Ireland’s largest renewable energy association and supports the development of wind energy as an essential, economical and environmentally friendly part of the country’s low-carbon energy future.

Ionic Consulting

Ionic Consulting is an Irish-owned company which has been the leading provider of the full range of project management and engineering consultancy services to the renewable energy industry in Ireland (both ROI and NI) for more than a decade with an unrivalled track record and broad domestic and international client portfolio - especially as owner’s engineer. The company also provides a range of advisory and due diligence services to clients covering a range of activities from project/portfolio transactions to full market analysis. These combined efforts were recognised recently by the Irish wind industry when the company was awarded overall Consultant of the Year ahead of an elite list of technical, legal and financial consultants. Managing director Ken Boyne said: “We were both surprised and delighted to win this prestigious award. Ionic has always prided itself on having a strong in-house technical capability but this is allied to a strong appreciation of the commercial and financing needs of the projects. "To succeed it is important to have both the experience and expertise in delivering these services specifically in the context of the market in question. "This is only possible by our wonderful staff working closely with and listening to our clients and our track record is testament to that.” 2018 was a landmark year for Ionic in which we assisted our clients in completing 19 wind farm projects comprising 163 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 450MW. This included small independent developers with one and two turbine projects all the way up to utility-scale developers with large transmission-connected projects. The company also made the bold move of opening their first international office in Edinburgh – Brentry in a time of Brexit.

The latest wind turbine and battery storage technologies

Such a range of projects required the team to safely manage the delivery of projects in the most complex ground and site conditions, to deliver against the most stringent planning conditions and to engineer and deliver a range of contestably built grid solutions both at distribution and transmission voltages while incorporating the latest wind turbine and battery storage technologies. Allied to this is the ability of the team to build and maintain strong relationships with all key stakeholders in the project delivery environment including other consultants, all relevant statutory bodies, landowners, a myriad of suppliers and contractors, and debt and equity providers. This allowed Ionic to deliver bespoke solutions that specifically match the requirements of each project while solving the various delivery challenges that can arise during the execution of a project. In addition we continue to provide practical guidance and indeed project delivery support as the industry attempts to navigate through the range of market and regulatory changes impacting the Irish renewable energy industry. This shows us to be an innovative, market leading company that can help developers introduce the new approaches and technological solutions/efficiencies that will be required to continue to drive down the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) and to achieve this in a development and construction environment that is more challenging than ever before.


ElectroRoute is an independent energy trading and trading services company, established in 2011. From its Dublin headquarters, ElectroRoute trades power, gas, green certificates and other energy commodities on a 24/7 basis across 11 European countries. ElectroRoute also trades on behalf of over 1.1GW of third-party assets in Ireland and Great Britain – offering access to a unique, flexible and efficient trading platform from which to trade and optimise performance in the power and gas markets. [caption id="attachment_49368" align="alignleft" width="300"]ElectroRoute 24*7 Trading Desk ElectroRoute 24/7 Trading Desk[/caption] ElectroRoute has invested heavily in identifying, recruiting and retaining a high calibre team.  From a founding team of five individuals in 2011, the team has grown to 65 dedicated energy professionals with experience in power trading, gas trading, thermal assets, renewables, financing and investment, technical innovations, bespoke contracting and regulatory affairs. In 2016, ElectroRoute became part of the Mitsubishi Corporation family, who have brought with them a wealth of innovation and global energy experience which is allowing us to enhance and grow our client base and service offerings.

Outstanding Contribution to the Irish wind industry

In January 2019, ElectroRoute was delighted to be named the winners of the Outstanding Contribution Award in the inaugural Irish Wind Industry Awards.  The award, sponsored by Innogy, recognises the very best in the wind industry – those going above and beyond to shape the industry’s future. [caption id="attachment_49369" align="alignright" width="300"]Catherine Kelly (HR Director) and David McInerney (Commercial & Contracts Manager) accept the Award from Cathal Hennessy from Innogy Catherine Kelly, HR director, and David McInerney, commercial and contracts manager, accept the Award from Cathal Hennessy from Innogy[/caption] This award recognises ElectroRoute’s innovation in structuring new routes to market for independent renewable generators in Ireland.

Innovative Routes to Market

Historically renewable assets were only able to access the wholesale market though a traditional power purchase agreement with a utility, or by establishing their own in-house trading capability. However, in 2015 ElectroRoute became the first party to structure and finance outsourced managed trading solutions that facilitated direct access to the energy markets for renewable projects. This solution, known as Supplier Lite Managed Services, offers better value to asset owners and more importantly it provides asset owners with full flexibility and independence over their power sales. In October 2018, the Irish electricity market experienced significant change with the introduction of the Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM).  The flexibility of Supplier Lite enabled asset owners to restructure their routes to market and to select the trading services provider that was optimal for them in terms of quality, credit risk, product structure and price. [caption id="attachment_49370" align="alignleft" width="300"]The ElectroRoute team The ElectroRoute team[/caption] ElectroRoute was delighted to be selected by more than 500MW of renewables assets to manage their routes to market in I-SEM, enabling ElectroRoute to utilise its seven years of trading and forecasting expertise to manage balancing and trading risk for renewables in the volatile new market. For more information on ElectroRoute, including information on career opportunities or the products and services offered, please see or contact

Awards come easy breezy for Galway Wind Park

Galway Wind Park, Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm has been recognised as best-in-class after picking up two prestigious awards at the inaugural Irish Wind Industry Awards. Developed as joint venture between SSE, Ireland’s largest renewable energy generator, and state forestry company Coillte, the 58-turbine project scooped the trophies for both Community Project of the Year and overall Project of the Year. The wind farm, situated in the heart of Connemara’s Cloosh Valley, was constructed in two phases over a 30-month period from February 2015 to October 2017, and marked its first full year of generation in October 2018. At 174 megawatts, it is now generating enough renewable energy to power around 150,000 homes, while offsetting over 220,000 tonnes of harmful carbon emissions annually. This means Galway Wind Park is making the single biggest contribution of any renewable energy site to Ireland’s climate action targets. Galway Wind Park was developed by SSE and Coillte at a joint investment cost of over €280 million, with €90 million contributed to Irish Gross Domestic Product during construction. The project team worked with local community members to create a community programme tailored to the specific social, economic and cultural fabric of the region. During construction, more than 100 local businesses provided products and services to facilitate the delivery of Galway Wind Park, with €20 million spent directly with suppliers and contractors within 30km of site.

Producing more green energy than any other wind site on the island

Now operational and producing more green energy than any other wind generation site on the island, Galway Wind Park is continuing to have a positive impact on the local area and surrounding communities. The project team consulted with local community groups to design a community funding programme that recognises the needs of local people. Launched in 2018, the Galway Wind Park Community Fund is the largest renewable energy fund of its kind in the country, with around €400,000 being contributed to local groups and causes annually. The Community Fund places a major emphasis on projects promoting sustainability, energy efficiency, safety, recreation and tourism, and education and skills development, which will make a genuine and lasting difference for the area. In addition, the Galway Wind Way, 48km of on-site recreational trails along six routes, was also launched last year. The free-to-access trails are designed for a range of users, including walkers, runners, and cyclists, as well as for those with restricted mobility. There are several designated viewing points along the trails offering users the chance to enjoy stunning scenic views of the Connemara coast. Setting new standards for both green energy generation and community benefit, Galway Wind Park is set to make a positive difference, both locally and nationally, for generations to come.

Wind Turbine Engineering

Wind Turbine Engineering Ltd (WTE) was presented with the Irish Wind Industry Award in the 'Excellence in Operation and Maintenance' category. WTE were shortlisted with Natural Power and RES group and, given the profile of these candidates, it was with great pleasure that Declan Corrigan accepted the award on behalf of Oisin Kelly, Yvonne Malone and the 40 other staff members who make up this unique, family-run company. The award took on a special significance insofar as this was the inaugural event bringing together many key figures from this wonderful industry that WTE Ltd are proud to be a part of. Despite the growth the industry has experienced in the last 15 years it still retains a strong element of collegiality and this was evident in the room throughout the night. Corrigan was delighted to accept the award from Frances McArdle, the operations manager of Height for Hire Ltd and was interviewed briefly by the ever-genial Ivan Yates. Corrigan is seldom short of words but, on the night, was somewhat overwrought and forgot to thank the judging panel, the team from IWEA and the McArdle family for selecting WTE as the recipient. He hopes they will accept his belated apology. WTE Ltd was founded by Oisin Kelly in 2009 to target opportunities in the burgeoning turbine fleet within Ireland with specific reference to main component exchanges. Kelly hails from Rathangan, Co Kildare, and has a long, successful record in wind sector spanning 15 years. In particular, his mechanical expertise and problem-solving abilities are well recognised within the industry – in many ways this has been the cornerstone of the company’s success. The foundation of the company coincided with the onset of the first raft of major operation works, such as gearboxes and main bearing exchanges, in the fleet of 2.3MW and 2.5MW turbines that had been installed in the period from 1999 to 2005. Wind Turbine Engineering deployed a multi-disciplinary team to assist OEM’s with these works.

A growing client base

The client base grew steadily from 2009 to 2015 and our scope of works broadened to include general turbine servicing, bolt exchanges and general repair services. Our operating region expanded to include the UK, western Europe and Scandinavia. In Q4 2016, Corrigan joined WTE from Windhoist; he has worked in the crane industry for more than thirty years and has been involved in the wind industry for almost 20 years. He is a well-known figure in the industry with considerable experience in most aspects of the business. He chairs the logistics safety sub-group in IWEA and has addressed a number of conferences over the years on industry related topics. WTE began to offer integrated cranage and mechanical services to the industry for main component exchanges; our first project was completed in January 2017 and this heralded a new phase in the development and expansion of the business. In 2018, a significant number of major operations were successfully completed and this activity now comprises more than seventy percent of turnover. We now look forward to continued expansion and new opportunities in the future.

Bord na Móna’s Catherine Swaine crowned Champion of Renewables and Overall Winner at Inaugural Irish Wind Industry Awards

Catherine Swaine who leads the successful Community Engagement programme at Bord na Móna Powergen’s Mountlucas Wind Farm in Co Offaly, was crowned the Champion of Renewables and the Overall Winner at the inaugural Irish Wind Industry Awards. The ceremony, organised by the Irish Wind Energy Association, celebrates the most original and innovative individuals and companies demonstrating excellence in their fields across the Irish wind energy sector, honouring the people, organisations and communities going above and beyond to shape the future of the industry. Both awards recognise the outstanding work Swaine has carried out in championing wind energy through presentations and tours to over 14,000 people since 2015. Swaine was also commended for in work in enhancing the amenities including the learning hub installed in 2017 – a hands on interactive experience that educates visitors about the need and importance of renewable energy. Speaking on the night she said: “I love my job and I love welcoming people to the wind farm, many seeing wind energy in operation for the first time. It is a real honour to accept this award on behalf of Mountlucas Wind Farm and Bord na Móna. "It is also on behalf of the community there, if it wasn’t for their support it wouldn’t have been the success that it is. It is a great facility to have and they really make use of it.”

Cycling, walking and running at Mountlucas

More than 100,000 people have visited the wind farm in recent years made to use its 10km amenity facilities. It is being used for cycling, walking and running by both local people and schools, sports and athletics clubs and societies on a frequent basis. In 2017, Swaine played a pivotal role in bringing the parkrun event to Mountlucas wind farm - Offaly’s first parkrun venue. The parkrun event is a free, weekly, 5km timed run, which takes place in different venues around the world. Currently there are 100 parkrun venues in Ireland. Every Saturday about 80 people take part in the parkrun on the wind farm. Swaine holds many events for the local community around Mountlucas Wind Farm throughout the year including marathons, school walks, wedding photoshoots, global wind day events and even Santa Claus comes to visit. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement and for her role in delivering the successful community engagement programme at Mountlucas Wind Farm. If you would like to book a free tour of the Mountlucas Wind Farm Experience please contact Catherine Swaine on 087-1175756 to arrange your tour. The tour lasts about two hours. Facilities for the tour include: car and coach parking, 10km walkway-cycleway and toilet facilities.