360 MW hydroelectric power plant planned for Ireland

A joint Irish-Austrian venture is planning to build what would be Ireland’s largest hydroelectric power plant.

The EUR650m plant is planned by construction and technology companies Strabag Group and Andritz Hydro from Austria and the Irish construction company Roadbridge and developer Siga-Hydro.
Andritz Hydro
Ireland’s Environment Minister Alan Kelly has welcomed the plan to build a massive hydro-electric plant at an old open cast site near Silvermines, Co Tipperary, telling the Irish Independent newspaper, "It will transform the mining legacy here from an environmentally hazardous to a positive one, as well as trigger very significant and sustainable investment and employment in the local community."

The facility would have enough power to run up to 200,000 homes five hours a day.

The scheme is billed by developers and investors as the most effective generation in Ireland and would involve a wind farm using off-peak power to pump water to an elevated reservoir at night before it is released through turbines during the day to a lower reservoir.

If given planning permission, the Silvermines hydro station will be the second hydro generator in the country, along with the ESB's Turlough Hill, a 292 MW plant in Wicklow.

The planning application, which could take 18 months to two years, is to be made later this year and construction would take four years.

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