State-owned ESB says it has connected enough wind energy to the Republic’s electricity system to power around 1.3 million homes.
Paddy Hayes, managing director of ESB Networks, told a conference on Thursday that the company has connected wind farms capable of generating a total of 4,000 megawatts (MW) to the Republic’s electricity system.
By industry standards, that is enough wind energy to supply electricity to around 1.3 million average homes.
ESB Networks, a subsidiary of the State energy business that owns Electric Ireland, connected around half the wind farms to the national grid, which transmits power from generating stations to local distribution networks.
The company did this work for Eirgrid, which manages that national grid.
The company connected the other half directly to the local distribution networks that it owns itself.
These transmit electricity to individual homes and businesses.
The ESB group controls 400 MW of the wind power that its subsidiary plugged into the Republic’s grid and distribution system.
That includes the 89MW Bellacorick wind farm in Co Mayo in partnership with fellow State enterprise Bord na Móna.
ESB also owns the 900MW coal-burning generator at Moneypoint in Co Clare, Ireland’s single biggest electricity plant.
However, it now produces just 3 per cent of the power used here, down from 20 per cent several years ago.
Wind farms across Ireland now have the capacity to generate 4,137MW of electricity.