Ireland refuses ESB's plan to convert 150-MW peat station to biomass

Forest biomass. Author: Oregon Department of Forestry. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

July 24 (Renewables Now) - Ireland’s An Bord Pleanala has rejected energy company ESB’s plan to redevelop a 150-MW peat power plant in Shannonbridge, County Offaly, to start using biomass.

In its decision issued last week, the planning authority said that the proposed project would have a negative effect on the environment and will also pose a threat on water through the continued harvesting and burning of peat to fuel the plant. Additionally, as it would use the regional road network to transport the fuel, the plan is expected to endanger public safety by putting a traffic hazard and obstructing road movement.

“The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,” the planning authority ruled out.

Under its current planning permission, ESB is required to cease activities at the West Offaly Power Station and ash disposal facility sites on, or before, December 31, 2020. The company sought approval to continue burning peat at the station past that deadline until 2027, when it planned to fully rely on biomass to power the facility.

The board said an end to burning peat was a “key component within national climate and energy policy” to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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