Table of Contents

Meenawley Wind Turbine


Council submission can be found here.

About The Project

The proposed wind farm development is located at Cullion, Meenawley, Co. Donegal. The proposed project is being developed by Natural Forces, who acknowledge that working on these lands is a privilege that comes with a great deal of responsibility. As such, the project, which is approximately 3km north of the town Killybegs could have a total capacity of up to 4.2 MW, representing 1 turbine. This would be enough electricity to power over 3,000 Irish homes each year.

Project Updates

As we develop this project, we are committed to providing the public with frequent updates and the results of our environmental studies in this section.

Project Milestone Timeline

April 2022 – Environmental surveys started
August 2023 – Planning submitted to Donegal County Council for an Enercon E138 on a 99m tower with an overall tip height of 169m (ref: 2351240)
October 2023 – Further information requested by Donegal County Council
October 2023 – Community engagement started
October 2023 to date – Compiling the request for more information submission with an anticipated submission date May 2024

Who is proposing this project?

Natural Forces

Natural Forces is an independent power producer that develops, owns, and operates renewable energy projects. Natural Forces was established in 2001 and has its head office in Halifax, NS, as well as regional offices in Chetwynd, British Columbia; Quispamsis, New Brunswick; Dublin, Ireland; and New York State. Collectively, Natural Forces has close to 300 MW of renewable energy projects in operation across Canada, with several ongoing projects at various stages of completion in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Labrador, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Ireland, and New York.
The senior management team at Natural Forces has over 70 years of combined renewable energy experience encompassing all project life cycle activities in a range of international locations including Canada, Ireland, Poland, the UK, and Australia. Natural Forces is an integrated developer and operator of renewable energy assets. The in-house team undertakes all activities from initial site selection, development, financing, construction, operations, and asset management. Our vision is to develop, construct, operate, and own clean renewable energy projects across Canada in partnership with local and Indigenous communities.

Why here?

When developing a wind project, it is crucial to find the most suitable location and community to host it.  To do so, there are four main factors to consider during the site finding phase of development:

  • Wind resource
  • Distance to existing electrical and civil infrastructure
  • Environmental sensitivity
  • Socio-economic concerns

Ireland has excellent wind resources, so generating electricity is feasible in many locations around the country. Factors other than the strength and consistency of the wind must be taken into account when considering a site, such as proximity to the electricity grid, road access, ecology, archaeology, and cultural significance, proximity to residential dwellings, and health concerns.

The location of the Meenawley Wind Turbine was selected after a thorough review of all of these factors.

Community Engagement

Natural Forces is committed to engaging with the public, stakeholders, and stakeholder groups throughout the lifetime of the project. We are both keen to ensure the community understands the project details and is aware of project activities, and to accept input and feedback from community members. Below is information about the major public and stakeholder engagement activities that have taken place to date, including summaries of the information that has been shared at our open houses.
Mandatory community engagement forms a part of our project and will be ongoing throughout planning and construction with previous consultation dates outlined in the table below.

Calendar Week Dates
CW11 2024
11/03/2024 – 17/03/2024
CW9 2024
26/02/2024 – 03/03/2024
CW1 2024
01/01/2024 – 07/01/2024
CW50 2023
11/12/2023 – 17/12/2023
CW48 2023
27/11/2023 – 03/12/2023
CW43 2023
23/10/2023 – 29/10/2023

See attached leaflet used during community engagement.
Meenawley Public Consult Leaflet.docx

What is the process?


(Current Stage)

  • Assess the wind resource
  • Survey for environmentally sensitive features
  • Optimize turbine location to capture the wind efficiently and minimize impact on sensitive features
  • Begin consultation with regulators and the public
  • Conduct and present the Environmental Impact Assessment for environmental approval
  • Apply for road, work and construction permits​



  • Clear trees for roads and turbine pads
  • Build access roads and pad areas
  • Pour the turbine foundation
  • Assemble the wind turbine
  • Connect to grid



  • Commission the wind turbines to start producing power
  • Conduct post-construction wildlife monitoring
  • Monitor remotely for real-time alerts when additional maintenance is needed
  • Operate for 30 years​


Decommission or Retrofit

  • Assess wind turbine after 30 years
  • Decommission wind turbines in 3-6 months
  • Reclaim the site to its former state OR
  • Receive approvals and permits to retrofit the turbine to continue harnessing energy​

Environmental Impact Assessment

In Ireland any project that exceeds 5MW or 5 turbines are required to complete an environmental impact assessment (EIA). During this process a team of consultants will undertake surveys to evaluate the location and overall impact of the project on the surrounding area. As this project does not exceed 5MW or 5 turbines an EIA is not required.

With that being said environmental assessments still took place which included surveying:

  • Housing proximity
  • Noise levels
  • Shadow flicker
  • Bird and bat assessments
  • Landscape and visual impact assessments

With these surveys it was concluded that the project will have no adverse impacts on the surrounding environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Natural Forces undertakes rigorous environmental impact assessments ahead of construction to determine existing environmental sensitivities and potential impacts on the project to the environment. This information will be reviewed by county councils and will be open for public comment.

The proposed turbines will be set back at least 500m or 4 times overall tip height in line with the WEG 2006 and 2019 respectively.

No. A study carried out by the HSE in 2017 investigated the health effects of wind turbines. This study found there is no support for adverse effects on health from wind turbines. The summary of these results can be reviewed here.

​For this project, Natural Forces leases land from private landowners. Over the course of several years, we have developed trusted relationships with the landowners and in all instances the land remains in the ownership of the landowner and is leased for the duration of the project. No land has been leased from unwilling landowners.

During construction, Natural Forces makes every attempt to hire local contractors, using our in-house construction management company, Natural Forces Construction, to ensure smaller contractors are able to participate. ​

Wind turbines have moving parts and therefore some sound can be expected. However, well-designed wind turbines are generally quiet in operation, and compared to the noise of road traffic, trains, aircraft, and construction activities, to name but a few, the sound from wind turbines is very low. As wind turbine technology has evolved, the sounds emitted have decreased. The further away you are from a project, the less sound it will make. This site will likely have trees and other barriers that would break a lot of the sound before it reaches homes. A typical wind project would have a noise level of between 35-45 decibels. For reference, the compressor of a refrigerator produces 40-45 decibels. Stories of excessive noise often come from areas where the turbines are very close to homes. Natural Forces follows the minimum standards for distance from residences laid out by local regulations.

For more information contact:

Jonathan Coffey, Project Manager


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