Clare County Council has initiated a plan for the development of pumped freshwater hydro-energy storage facilities similar to those already seen in Turlough Hill, Co Wicklow.
Three locations, namely Slieve Callan, Slieve Bernagh and Woodcock Hill, have been marked as ‘indicative areas’ for the proposed facilities which are outlined in the newly developed Draft Clare County Renewable Energy Strategy.
The county’s energy strategy is aiming to make it one of the most innovative county in terms of renewable energy in the country with plans to examine the potential for a range of renewable resources, including bio-energy and anaerobic digestion, micro-renewables, geothermal, solar, hydro, energy storage, onshore and offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.
Some of the key objectives set out in the county’s strategy include achieving more than the national renewable energy target of between 10-12pc by 2020, to work in partnership with the marine renewable energy sector to deliver the key actions recommended by the Ocean Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) and Grid 25 and ensuring that all future building planning applications must have high-quality, energy efficient technology incorporated.
The county has also welcomed the news that the ESB have confirmed that its West Wave project will go ahead off Killard in West Clare at an estimated cost of between €40-50m.