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Windfarm fund generates boost for local students

LOCAL students will benefit from the latest round of funding through the Energia Meenadreen Windfarm Community Benefit Fund.
The fund has already allocated almost €40,000 to five students through specialised bursaries, supporting them in further education over the next three years.
The scheme is now open for new applications from students living beside the wind farm in South Donegal.
The Energia Meenadreen Fund is now entering its fifth year, having provided 51 grants totalling €255,303 supporting a range of organisations within the immediate vicinity of the Meenadreen Windfarm.
Last year, in light of the difficulties facing communities across Ireland due to Covid-19, Energia introduced a scholarship programme in addition to the funds existing general grants scheme and five individuals were awarded scholarships for third level degrees.
They are enrolled in institutions across Ireland including Dublin City University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, NUIG and Ulster University.
Managing Director of Energia Renewables, Peter Baillie, said local communities deserve to benefit from the construction and operation of its windfarms.
“Each of our funds is tailored to meet the needs of the local community and this year Energia is delighted to be financing the new Meenadreen windfarm student bursary in south Donegal as part of our overall community benefit fund,” he said.
Jamie Crawford, one of the students to receive a scholarship, said the financial support has been a huge help and relieved some of the financial strain that attending university can bring.
“With a personal interest in renewable energy, I am now studying a BA in Education, with a special focus on climate change education and sustainability in the classroom, and I hope to bring this passion to students in the future,” he said.
Undergraduate Scholarships will be award to a maximum value of €3,000 per annum. Postgraduate Scholarships i.e. masters or PhD, will be considered for partial or full funding. Priority will be given to individuals undertaking courses related to sustainability.
Applications for the 2021 round of the Energia Meenadreen Windfarm Fund are being accepted until August 16.
For information on how to apply, please visit the Community Foundation for Ireland website, www.foundation.ie. Applications for the Community Grants Scheme will open in mid-autumn.

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