A Community Benefit Scheme is established for the Castlepook Wind Farm, and in addition to the community benefit fund other benefits for the local community include:
- Already, new bike trails part funded by the project have been developed so that no temporary loss of recreational amenity results.
- Improving the local recreational amenity opportunities by upgrading existing forest tracks to a high standard.
- Supporting local businesses, for example when purchasing fuel for machinery, raw materials for construction or when renting accommodation.
- Protecting the environment by replanting trees to replace those removed from Castlepook Forest.
- Contribute towards the Government’s target of sourcing 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Castlepook Wind Farm operates a community fund which will be made available every year for the operational lifetime of the wind farm. The fund, is made available to local community and voluntary organisations who wish to complete a project within falling under one or more of these broad themes:
- Education and Skills
- Health, Safety and Wellbeing
- Environment and Habitat Conservation
- Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
- Culture and Heritage
- Recreation, Sport and Social Inclusion
Since 2016, the fund has committed to investing over €80,000 in 11 projects within the vicinity of Castlepook. The projects which received funding, are as follows:
- Nagle Rice Secondary School towards the enhancement of their gym facility which is utilised by their students and other children and adults from the community year round.
- Ballyhea Community Council towards the installation of speed activated speed limit warning signs in Ballyhea Village.
- 22nd Kildorrery Scout Group towards the set-up costs of the new troop, including the purchase of equipment which will allow them to enjoy the great outdoors via overnight camping.
- Shanballymore Primary School towards the laying of a new surface for the schools play area, as the current concrete surface poses a health and safety concern for their students.
- Ballyhoura Development CLG in support of their ‘Bike for Beginners’ programme which aims to get groups from all areas ofsociety more active, more often, and to utilize the facilities in the Ballyhoura region.
- Ballyhea Parish towards the installation of an energy efficient external lighting system at St. Mary’s Church, Ballyhea.
- Canon Sheehan Primary School towards the provision of a new fenced play area catering for their large student enrolment.
- Doneraile Development Association towards the creation of a number of historic costumes to enhance their tours of Doneraile Park which tell the history of the area.
- Ballyhea GAA Club towards the purchase and fitting of floor covering to the gym area of their club house.
- Ardpatrick Community Council towards the research and preservation of Ardpatrick’s social history through the analysis of the ‘Sunvale Ledger’, and the development of a website.
- Ballyhoura Failte DAC to assist in the promotion of Ballyhoura Country as a tourism destination through highlighting its key attractions and recreational assets across national publications and social media.