Thursday, October 24 12:31:13
Bord na Mona today launched a new wind energy project to generate 2GW of electricity when fully operational and create an export business of E1 billion in annual revenue for the State owned company.
It plans to export the renewable electricity directly into the British and mainland European Electricity Market.
The Clean Energy Hub will involve the development of a number of separate wind farms that will be principally centred on the company's extensive 20,000 ha of cutaway peatlands in East Offaly and West Kildare. The company has set a target of 2020 to bring this project on stream.
"I am delighted to be announcing the launch of the Bord na Mona Clean Energy Hub and to issue an invitation to all other partners to join with us in preparing a single planning application. Wind farms are innovative and profitable ways of continuing our mandate to extract maximum economic and social value from the lands we hold in trust for the benefit of all people of Ireland," Bord na Mona Chairman John Horgan said.
Bord na Mona also announced plans for an extensive Community Consultation Programme across the Midlands commencing in the coming weeks. The programme will see the company engage with local groups and stakeholders as it draws up its detailed planning applications in the coming months. The company intends to provide details on the 3,000 jobs that will be created during the next seven years of construction in the region and the 200 high tech maintenance and operations jobs that the Clean Energy Hub will directly support thereafter. Bord na Mona will also engage with local communities on how it will provide direct benefits as it has already successfully done in other areas.
Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte who was on hand to launch the Bruckana project welcomed the announcement.
The Minister said. "We can see here today that cutaway bog far away from concentrations of people can be a suitable location for wind power generation. In this regard I recognise the significance of what Bord na Mona are announcing today. Yesterday I launched the first stage in a consultative process which will lead to a policy framework under which any renewable energy export projectswould be regulated. I would urge Bord na Mona and other prospective developers to engage with that process."
"I have been working hard with my colleagues in the British government to develop a framework to allow for exports of green energy to Britain and beyond. I am very pleased that a state company like Bord na Mona is capitalising on its assets and its expertise and the demand for clean green energy for the benefit of the Irish people".