Local Minister and Limerick TD, Patrick O’Donovan has said that the plan by the ESB to invest €5billion in an offshore wind project in the Atlantic could have massive opportunities for Limerick and the Shannon Estuary.
Patrick O’Donovan made his comments after the ESB unveiled their plans for a massive investment that could see the largest offshore project of its kind ever in Ireland located near the mouth of the Shannon as the Moneypoint ESB Generating Station ceases to burn coal in 2025.
The Minister for the Office of Public Works said “I welcome the plans. For years we have had reports that the south-westerly winds approaching the Shannon Estuary were among the best possible for the offshore generating of electricity. Up to now we didn’t see concrete proposals around specific projects of this scale. And that’s why this is different. This is massive in that it shows real ambition and given that it’s being led by the ESB, who have a long tradition of large scale engineering projects dating right back to Ardnacrusha, I’ve every confidence it can be delivered.”
“The opportunities for the Shannon Estuary, I believe can come in the area of engineering, servicing and maintenance of these enormous turbines. They will require huge crews of people both in terms of their construction and assembly, but also in terms of their ongoing maintenance to look after them once they are in place. And that is where I think that the deep water of the Shannon Foynes Port Company is critical.”
“I know from working for many years with the Port Company how ambitious they are for our region. I know that they are equally ambitious for this project. Naturally there will be hurdles to jump. There will be planning applications and processes that have to be gotten through but I am hopeful for this because this is transformative not only for the region, but for the country.”
Patrick O’Donovan said that he had spoken to Leo Varadkar about the importance of the Shannon Estuary in the overall development of the Country. “The deep water and natural harbour we have is second to none and we need to exploit it more. Energy projects like this, of this scale will boost our region and open us up and allow us the opportunity to have further investment here.”