THE Midlands could become the windfarm centre of Ireland in years to come - should new plans by Bord na Móna for a €5 billion wind energy hub progress.
The ambitious proposals concern the development of what the state-owned company claims will be the largest onshore windfarm development in Europe, made up of 600 separate wind turbines.
The clean energy hub is earmarked for over 20,000 hectares of cutaway peat bogs in East Offaly and West Kildare and would generate some 2GW of electricity when fully operational for the export market, enough to power one million homes.
A target of 2020 has been set to bring the project on stream, which has the potential to create 3,000 jobs during seven years of construction in the region and 200 hi-tech maintenance and operations jobs once the initiative is up and running.
Bord na Móna’s plans come on foot of two other major windfarm projects for parts of the Faithful County, the first, Mainstream Power’s plan’s for 150 wind turbines in the North Offaly area as part of a 5GW ‘Energy Bridge’ project stretching over large swathes of Leinster and offshore, and the second, the ‘Greenwire Project’ unveiled by Element Power, which plans to install 750 wind turbines in the midlands across five separate counties.
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