West’s ‘clean oil fields’ to benefit from grid upgrade

Ireland's western region has 40% of the country's renewable wind power generating capacity, according to a plan to double the electricity transmission network.

Eirgrid, the independent electricity transmission system operator, launched its Euro 4bn Grid25 plan to develop the grid infrastructure of which Euro 1bn is to be invested in the west.

Ireland’s transmission network could be doubled by the year 2050, boosting current capacity and supporting renewable energy development, according to the operator.

Gillian Buckley, chief executive officer of the Western Development Commission, told the Mayo News: “The western region has about 40% of the entire country’s renewable capacity, making it a key natural resource for the region.

“It may be fair to say that wind and ocean energy are the western region’s own clean sustainable oil-fields.”

She added that existing transmission systems is inadequate to support future renewable power as well as current needs and praised the Grid25 plan, saying it would stimulate investment in renewables.

Ireland has 6,000 kilometres of overhead transmissions, 4,000 of which are set to be upgraded and 1,000 more constructed to meet a predicted 60% growth in electricity demand in a decade.

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