Lough Ree Power Plant, Lanesboro.
The ESB have issued a statement today, Friday November 8, confirming that they will cease power generation operations in power stations at Lough Ree in Lanesboro and West Offaly by the end of 2020.
The current planning permissions for West Offaly Power and Lough Ree Power will expire at the end of 2020. The ESB had submitted an application to An Bord Pleanála in 2018 seeking planning permission to transition West Offaly Power from peat to biomass over a number of years starting in 2020, although it was rejected, and they have since carried out a review of their options for both plats post 2020 in the context of the requirements of the single electricity market (SEM).
"Having considered the key planning, environmental and commercial issues associated with peat and biomass, regrettably there is no viable business model beyond 2020. Therefore both stations will cease generation of electricity at the end of December 2020." an official statement reads.
"Given our long history of power generation in Shannonbridge and Lanesboro, this is a matter of significant regret for ESB. ESB very much appreciates the commitment of our staff and the support of the broader community over many decades during which ESB, in strong collaboration with Bord na Móna, played a key role in the development of the economy in the midlands."
ESB will now begin the process of engaging with our staff and stakeholders to prepare for an orderly closure of the stations. The Government has recently announced the creation of a €6m Just Transition Fund for the midlands. In light of the closure of Lough Ree Power and West Offaly Power, ESB will make an additional contribution of €5m to this fund.