Forestland owner, panel manufacturer Coillte to co-develop, retain 45% stake in one of Ireland's largest wind projects on its County Galway land, with Finavera Renewables, Scottish and Southern Energy

MOYCULLEN, Galway , August 25, 2010 (press release) – Coillte today announced that it has concluded an agreement for the co-development of one of Ireland’s largest Wind Projects with Finavera Renewables and Scottish and Southern Energy (“SSE”). The project is located on Coillte owned lands in Cloosh Valley near Moycullen in County Galway.

Coillte successfully delivered planning permission for 22 turbines in the first phase of the project which will generate approx 50 MW. This is enough power to meet the electricity needs of more than 30,000 homes - from one of Ireland's greatest natural resources, its wind energy. On completion, the 105 MW wind farm will have the capacity to generate enough electricity to supply over 60,000 homes.Coillte as the landowner of the project site has been a development partner with Finavera since early 2009.

Approximately 20% of installed wind energy generation capacity in Ireland is situated on land owned or formerly owned by Coillte. Coillte has a portfolio of over 400 MW of Gate 2 and 3 Projects across the country, making it the second largest developer of on-shore sites.

Commenting on the announcement David Gunning, CEO of Coillte said: "As Ireland’s largest land owner, Coillte has a unique and extensive portfolio of suitable sites for wind farms across the country, with some of the best wind regimes. We identified the potential of the Cloosh Valley site as part of our long term strategy to manage our assets in a sustainable way and to deliver on key national policy objectives.

“We are delighted to bring our unique assets and expertise into play to help deliver on Ireland's renewable energy targets as well as delivering a substantial uplift in the value of our assets for our shareholders. This year alone we have 6 more wind farm projects in the pipeline for planning with a potential 250 MW and anticipate continuing to make a significant contribution to meeting Ireland’s renewable energy targets.”

Under the agreement Coillte and SSE will each have a 45% stake in the project, while Finavera will retain a 10% interest.

About the Project:

The Cloosh Valley Wind Project has capacity of up to 105 MW and has received a Gate 3 grid offer. The wind resource at the Cloosh Valley project is among the strongest in Europe.

Forestweb editor's note: Coillte is a commercial company operating in forestry, land based businesses, renewable energy and panel products. It owns more than 445,000 hectares of land, about 7% of the land cover of Ireland. Coillte Panel Products Division consists of SmartPly Europe Ltd. which produces OSB and Medite Europe Ltd. which produces MDF. Source: Coillte's website.

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