Windfarm jobs promise for Laois welcomed

Laois’ two opposition TDs have welcomed the announcement by Element Power of the largest wind farm project in Ireland which is to be based in the midlands.

Laois’ two opposition TDs have welcomed the announcement by Element Power of the largest wind farm project in Ireland which is to be based in the midlands.

Deputies Sean Fleming and Brian Stanley also welcomed the 2,000 potential jobs boost that could be delivered if it gets the goahead.

This project will link up to 40 new wind farms consisting of 500-700 turbines in the counties of Laois, Offaly, Kildare, Westmeath and Meath. Wind generated from this project will be for the export market as the National Grid in the UK has signed up a contract to take all this electricity, to be generated in the midlands, by 2018. The Laois turbines are earmarked for north Laois on low-lying land designated by Laois County Council.

“This wind farm project can be a winner if Element Power take into consideration the views of all local communities and residents and deal with all the planning and environmental issues in an open and upfront manner.

“They have already had detailed discussions with many land owners in Laois and other counties. Based on the information to date they are avoiding locating any of their turbines near houses or in any environmentally sensitive area,” said the Fianna Fail TD.

Sinn Féin TD, Brian Stanley, welcomed the announcement by Element Power of the creation of 2,000 permanent jobs in the Midlands by 2018.

“The creation of 2,000 jobs is welcome news, particularly for Laois and Offaly, which has seen little job creation initiatives by Government over the past number of years. While the stated figure of 10,000 jobs during the construction phase may seem a little ambitious, nevertheless it is good news for the region.

“I, along with party colleagues, met with representatives of the company this morning and impressed on them the need to consult with local communities during construction and erection of the wind farms and to minimise the visual impact of the structures on the landscape. Sinn Féin has consistently called for investment in the renewable energy sector and this announcement is to be applauded,” he said.