Lough Ree Power Station in Lanesboro is temporarily not generating electricity

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Lough Ree Power Station in Lanesboro is temporarily not generating electricity

Lough Ree Power Plant, Lanesboro.

To ensure compliance with its environmental licence obligations, Lough Ree Power is temporarily not generating electricity.

Due to recent weather conditions, the rate of flow in the River Shannon has reduced significantly, and as a result the plant has been taken off load.

"This is required to ensure that the downstream river temperatures do not increase by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above the upstream reference intake temperature," said an ESB statement.

"ESB will monitor this issue closely and the plant will return to service as soon as it is appropriate."

Due to market rules and commercial sensitivity, ESB cannot provide any further comment on the operation of the plant.

In response to this development, Fianna Fáil TD for Longford, Joe Flaherty, has said uncertainty surrounding production at  Lough Ree Power Station in Lanesboro this morning, has reinforced the need for the recommendations of the Just Transition Commissioner to be implemented.

Read also: Pressure on government and ESB chiefs to retain Lanesboro power station

Deputy Flaherty said the reason for the decision to take the local plant off the grid, which comes one week after the ESB confirmed that Lough Ree Power was operating as normal, needs to be clarified, particularly in light of the recent closure of West Offaly Power Station. At the moment the ESB have yet to confirm if the decision to take the plant off the grid is to due to maintenance work or whether the decision is long term.

"After years of uncertainty and the slow erosion of the industry in the midlands, it’s little wonder that the people of Longford are suspicious that this is another attempt to pull the plug on the Power Station," he said.

“We are well aware that the Power Station is set to close at the end of the year, yet the accelerated nature of decarbonisation is far outpacing the level of investment in the area and it’s creating a serious imbalance.

“Before Christmas several cabinet Ministers made the journey to Longford to express their solidarity with the workers who were losing their jobs. They hailed the Just Transition as a messiah to the region, yet the recommendations set out by the Just Transition Commissioner are still sitting on the Ministers desk.

“The fast tracked  closure of the station, if it endures, will have a massive knock-on effect for Bord na Móna and puts further jobs at risk. There needs to be clarity for workers, on when it will reopen and all efforts must be made to ensure this happens quickly.

“The recommendations made by Just Transition Commissioner Kieran Mulvey in his report to the Government are now even more vital and this report must be published immediately,” he concluded.

Read more: ESB under fire to consider alternative options for Lanesboro power station