By Tom Horan
ENERGY group Element Power has confirmed it is spending up to J70 million on a wind farm in Monaicha, near Roscrea. Past the planning stages, the 36 Megawatt project should be near completion by this time next year.
This is part of an J8 billion investment to be used to build several wind-farms in the Irish midlands. The majority of these will export their output to Britain, though the Monaicha farm will generate power for the Irish grid. These new windmills are designed to operate at a slower speed than Ireland’s current models.
The project will require 15 of these turbines, capable of generating 2.4 MW each. These cost about J900,000 per MW of output, putting the cost at just short of J33 million. According to the company’s chief development officer for Ireland Kevin O’Donovan, the decision to invest was spurred on by Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte’s recent decision to introduce new subsidies for green energy. The intended 40 new wind farms in midland counties would create 10,000 jobs during the construction phase and 3,000 long-term operational and manufacturing jobs in Ireland and the UK. Mr O’Donovan said the company was making “reasonable progress” in finding other suitable sites in the midlands for this project.
Full story on pg 10.