New ESB plans for Moneypoint power station could see the plant power 1.5 million homes via offshore wind.
It’s expected plans for the West Clare facility will be included in a nationwide long-term strategy for decarbonisation later this week.
It’s believed government is to propose a 270 square kilometre offshore wind project off the coasts of both Clare and Kerry, with Moneypoint to be at its centre.
The proposed project, which will be worked on by both the ESB and Norwegian company Equinor, is due to be delivered in two phases if it comes to fruition.
The first phase, located 16 kilometres off the Clare/Kerry coast – which is further than from Doolin to Inis Oirr – will likely lead to a final windfarm area of around 70 square kilometres.
The second phase would be located a further 20 kilometres west of that, would have an area of around 200 square kilometres.
Moneypoint is due to end its practice of burning coal by the end of 2025 – these works are intended utilise the spare capacity available following the coal plant closure.
It’s estimated that one and a half million homes could be powered by Moneypoint if the project gets the green light – something Independent TD Michael McNamara believes may create substantial employment in West Clare.
While it’s understood the works would reflect key elements of the Clare County Development Plan and the Strategic Infrastructure Framework Plan for the Shannon Estuary, the local authority declined to comment when contacted by Clare FM.
It’s expected the project will be formally unveiled by the ESB as part of its long term strategy for nationwide decarbonisation tomorrow afternoon.