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Dublin: 23.10.2014 01.01AM
The upgrade and redevelopment of Ireland's electricity network, Eirgrid, is to create 300 jobs, mainly through sub-contracting work on the network.
Eirgrid will directly create about 30 of the jobs, while 200 people will be employed building power lines and sub-stations. Another 50 jobs will exist in the professional service sector.
Much of the infrastructure to be built will be used to get electricity generated on the west coast to the east of the country, with nearly 3,500km of transmission lines to be installed during the upgrade.
Eamon Ryan, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, said that ultimately, the grid must be built.
"While we have met our 15pc target for renewables and reached second or third place in Europe in terms of integration of wind in our system, we will not make progress unless we build our grid to tap into the potential resources available to us.
"We need a transmission grid, not only to enable us to transmit wind power to different counties but also to create jobs in these counties."
By 2020, 40pc of Ireland's electricity will be generated by wind, estimates say.