€5 billion wind farm project could create thousands of jobs

Maurice McCarthy

Maurice McCarthy

A proposed wind farm and energy storage hub, which will provide electricity to the UK market has the potential to create in the region of 2,000 sustainable jobs in north Mayo, Mayo County Council was told this week. The jobs are expected to be created in the construction of the project, along with the manufacturing and maintenance of the wind farm elements.

Maurice McCarthy from Cork-based company Organic Power Ltd gave a presentation on the plan to the council on Monday for the planned project to be located at Glinsk in north Mayo. McCarthy told the meeting that the renewable energy strategy adopted by the council last year was a key factor in the company looking to bring the project to north Mayo.

The project will see 2000MW of power being harnessed through the use of over 400 wind turbines across north Mayo and be connected to a water storage energy hub at Glinsk, which will then be transferred back to Bellacorick, but overhead power lines, before being cabled across the country and to the UK, where it could provide more than one per cent of the UK’s total energy demand a year.

Mr McCarthy emphasised that people should be aware that there will be overhead power lines running to the connector, located probably at Bellacorick, because it was not economically viable to underground such a short section of cabling. He also emphasised that local consultations with landowners and locals will be conducted by the company during all stages of the planning.

The planned project he estimated would generate a revenue of up to €700 million per year and that the company was offering 10 per cent equity in the project to locals should they wish to invest in it. He also told the meeting that the company would be investing money in a training centre to train and upskill people for work in the industry and would be making a Community Gain investment to Mayo County Council The company has an initial application in with An Bord Pleanála and are awaiting the decision and they hoped to have construction starting on the project by 2015, with a transmission start date of 2018 planned.


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