Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (545)

Robert Troy

Question:

545. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the power stations at Lanesboro and Shannonbridge. [22031/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Power stations are an operational matter for the owner and operator of the power station, in this instance the ESB, and one in which I do not have a function.

The 100 megawatt Lough Ree electricity generating station at Lanesboro, Co. Longford and the 150 megawatt West Offaly electricity generating station at Shannonbridge, Co. Offaly are both owned and operated by ESB. To date both have been fuelled with milled peat supplied by Bord na Móna. The plants have been supported by a Public Service Obligation since 2005 for security of supply purposes. This support comes to an end in December this year. The two plants have been granted support under the third Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff scheme (REFIT3) to use up to 30% biomass in the fuel mix up to 2030.

ESB has applied to Longford County Council in respect of the Lough Ree plant, and to An Bord Pleanála in respect of the West Offaly plant, for planning permission to co-fire with biomass and peat at both plants, and ultimately to move to 100% biomass by 2027. I understand the decisions on both applications are expected later this year.