40% of Country’s Renewable Wind Energy Capacity in Western Region

“Grid 25 plans will help drive balanced regional development” -WDC

Mayo industries major beneficiaries of €1 billion plus investment

The Western Development Commission (WDC), the body charged with promoting the development of the Western Region, warmly welcomes Eirgrid’s Grid 25 plan with its major emphasis on balanced regional development.

Commenting on Grid 25, Gillian Buckley, WDC Chief Executive, said, “For the last five years the WDC has been emphasising one of the major assets of the region which is wind energy. According to the Eirgrid plan, the Western Region has about 40% of the entire country’s renewable capacity, making it a key natural resource for the region that can be exploited for the benefit of the people and businesses of the area. It may be fair to say that wind and ocean energy are the Western Region’s own clean sustainable oilfields.

“Grid 25 involves an investment of over €1bn in the western counties’ infrastructure in the period up to 2025 -over a quarter of the total investment by Eirgrid. We have pointed out in a number of our research reports the inadequacy of the existing transmission system both to serve existing needs and to deliver power generated from renewables. This new plan will fundamentally change this situation as it promises major investment to connect power from renewable energy (including ocean power) to the rest of the national grid. But we want to see as much of this clean, renewable ‘local power’ as possible used locally and we hope that its future availability will be highlighted by job creation agencies to attract new industries and jobs to the region, thereby helping achieve the government aim of balanced regional growth.

“The WDC has worked closely with the Mayo Industries Group and IBEC to highlight their concerns about the quality and reliability of the electricity supply in the area. This is about to be addressed in a very serious way with the county earmarked for priority investment that will mean, at a minimum, a 220KV transmission line. As well as facilitating the growth of renewable capacity, this will undoubtedly help sustain and promote industrial investment in the county.”

For further information please contact: Gillian Buckley, WDC CEO, 087 2236 982 Or Conall O Móráin, The Media Group, 087 2463 111