The Irish Wind Energy Association welcomed the EirGrid announcement that it would deliver infrastructure upgrades – known as Grid 25 – on time to support high quality power supplies in all regions, facilitate renewable energy, and enable high tech industries to be attracted and retained.

The process will also lead to the creation of around 300 jobs over the next five years, it is predicted.

IWEA chief executive Dr Michael Walsh said that without the development of the grid, the renewable energy sector will fail to deliver on its enormous job and investment potential over the next ten years.

The announcement will reassure those made offers to connect their generating technology to the grid under Ireland’s Gate 3 plan.

“A joint IWEA/Deloitte Jobs and Investment in Wind Energy report has already shown how wind energy can become a significant employer here in Ireland as it identified that construction and development of wind energy projects across Ireland, North and South will involve approximately €14.75billion of investment and the creation of more than 10,700 jobs in reaching 2020 targets,” he said.

“We have the will and the resources to achieve this. However to reach this potential, and to develop an export industry, the grid must be delivered. It is key that Gate 3 offers are backed by a firm commitment to deliver Grid 25 on time so we can realise the vast opportunity for Ireland from wind energy.”

EirGrid chair Ms Bernie Gray said: “Through enabling high quality bulk transportation of power the Grid25 project will provide support for sectors such as renewable energy, the pharmaceutical industry and IT, which require strong transmission of electricity, therefore delivering many more indirect jobs.”

Sam Bond

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