The Midland’s Region is set to receive an economic boost following the announcement that Bord na Móna is to develop Ireland’s first dedicated renewable energy business park on 3,000 hectares of its landbank in Westmeath and immediate surrounding counties.
The Bord na Móna Energy Park will be developed across peatlands close to Junction 3 of the M6 motorway and is expected to potentially co-locate 200MW+ of electricity directly beside businesses locating in the Energy Park. The electricity will be generated from renewable sources such as wind, solar, energy storage and green hydrogen production.
Bord na Móna expects that the Energy Park will be attractive for industrial and high-demand energy users such as large scale distribution facilities and data centres as the co-located approach is more sustainable, has lower environmental impact and a more optimal use of grid assets.
The Bord na Móna Energy Park will facilitate the reduction of energy costs and carbon emissions while guaranteeing a secure and reliable source of power for users. The availability of a 400, 220 and 110 kV grid network within or adjacent to the Bord na Móna landbank will reduce set-up costs and eliminates the need for significant grid extension work.
“As a climate solutions company, Bord na Móna is helping to contribute to a net zero future by embracing new approaches to how we generate and consume energy. The proposed Bord na Móna Energy Park brings with it a whole range of solutions in this area.
"It will reduce Ireland’s reliance on national grid infrastructure and will increase self-sufficiency and energy security in the country while meeting the needs of the national and regional economies. The climate emergency is the greatest challenge we face today, and the Bord na Móna Energy Park is another important step to creating a more sustainable future for Ireland," Tom Donnellan, Chief Executive of Bord na Móna, commented.
The Bord na Móna Energy Park will bring a range of benefits to the region. Substantial direct and indirect employment will be generated locally during construction and by companies establishing in the park. Providing a secure supply of renewable energy will also facilitate economic growth and development in the Midlands region.
The Bord na Móna Energy Park will play an important role in supporting Irish economic and population growth and helping to achieve Irish climate and biodiversity ambitions. This project will make a significant contribution to Ireland reaching its climate goals by 2030 and will also result in the improved integration of renewable energy assets with the National Grid.
Bord na Móna expects to lodge a planning application for the new Energy Park in the next 18 to 24 months. Extensive consultation with the local communities is commencing this week and will take place in the coming months with Community Information Sessions planned for early 2022 for communities adjacent to the proposed Energy Park. Further information is available on www.bnmenergypark.ie and www.bordnamona.ie