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Wind farms owners cash in on coronavirus grants

BBC News

Fifty-two Northern Ireland wind turbine owners have received emergency coronavirus funding from Stormont.

A £10,000 payment was sent automatically to any business in receipt of small business rates relief.

The sector has subsequently been ruled ineligible by the Department for the Economy, after over £500,000 was paid.

The department said it is trying to recover money that went to those who are ineligible, but it is unclear if this covers wind turbine owners.

Officials admit turbine owners would not experience financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

According to the Audit Office, there were 1,200 standalone wind turbines in Northern Ireland.

Many wind turbines in NI were already receiving ‘excessive’ subsidies, according to the Audit Office.

The payments were revealed by BBC Radio Ulster’s The Nolan Show on Monday.

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