A call has been made on local communities and landowners throughout the west of Ireland to support the proposed Grid West upgrading of the region’s electricity system.
Sean Hannick, chairman of the Council for the West, says a dramatically-enhanced electricity system is “crucial for the future development of the west of Ireland”.
Mr Hannick is adamant that the development is badly needed to attract large energy-using industry projects to the west.
“Over the past 15 years, we, the Council for the West, have met with the IDA on many occasions to discuss possible projects for the region. On each occasion, they pointed out that they were not able to push this region as a centre for possible energy-using industry because of the quality of the electricity transmission system,” he said.
“North of a line from Galway city to Dublin, huge investment is needed. This takes in the counties of Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Donegal, and much of Galway.
“Now, Eirgrid are investing €240m to improve the electricity infrastructure in the west region.
“The Eirgrid upgrade will have the impact of attracting industrial projects to the region. I would call on all community groups and landowners to support this very important initiative as it will have long-term and far-reaching benefits.”
Mr Hannick added that the Eirgrid upgrading would “help to iron out some of the disadvantages faced by the west of Ireland in terms of promoting economic development”.
IDA Ireland also welcomed the identification of potential routes for a high capacity overhead power line in the west by Eirgrid.
Brendan McDonagh, head of IDA Ireland’s business intelligence division, said: “The foreign direct investment sector is a major contributor to the Irish economy, and energy infrastructure is a critical component in the overall value proposition Ireland provides to multinational corporations.
“In recent times Ireland has been very successful in attracting investments across many sectors and particularly in the areas of life sciences, ICT and data centres. These companies require a strong, secure, electricity supply. The provision of additional electricity capacity is vital to attracting these high value investments to Ireland.”