Multi-million euro ESB investment in Laois Offaly power hub

New plant to address supply issues in fast growing says State-owned electricity electricity firm

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


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ESB Power supply overhaul on the cards

The ESB is planning a major overhaul of its electricity supply capacity in one of the fastest-growing parts of Laois in the form of a multi-million investment in Portarlington.

The ESB outlined the background to the project off the Lea Road R420 in the townland of Bracklone.

“This proposed development has been driven by the increase in customer demand due to population growth and the local development of the region. The existing medium voltage distribution network in Portarlington is currently heavily loaded (ie a high customer demand on the local electricity network).

“In accordance with the ESB Networks strategy, the security and reliability of the electricity supply will need to be reinforced in order to support future housing and business developments in the area.

“Furthermore, the rural medium-voltage network supplying the hinterland of Portlaoise is also heavily loaded.

“The construction of this new substation and the associated feeding lines will provide significant reinforcement to the security and reliability of the future electricity supply in Portarlington and its environs for the foreseeable future, thus bringing benefits to homes, farms and businesses in the area that will facilitate future growth,” said the State-owned company in a statement to the Leinster Express.

While the cost of the project was not outlined, a spokesperson confirmed that it would run into millions.

Laois County Council is considering the planning application.

The ESB previously operated a power station in Portarlington which was subsequently demolished.

The firm has run into problems in another party of Laois building a €110 million substation in Ratheniska.

ESB Networks says its Portlaoise Staff had a very heavy schedule of work serving the Laois area last year, providing new connections to significant Social Housing developments before year-end, as well as key employers. 

It said the most significant project in 2020 involving Laois Co Co/ESB Networks cooperation was the coordination in the supply of the Glanbia Cheese Factory in Portlaoise.