The harbour of Ros an Mhíl in Co Galway could be home to a marine renewable energy site, should a study find it suitable.
Údarás na Gaeltachta said it will research and formulate a development plan for the environs of Ros an Mhíl harbour in Co Galway to investigate the opportunities for developing it as a national resource for marine renewable energy.
The 30-acre site is currently owned by Údarás na Gaeltachta – the regional authority of the Galetacht – and its board approved funding for a development plan to progress opportunities for renewable energy on the west coast of Ireland.
Marine renewable energy aims to use the kinetic energy generated by winds and currents and convert them into useable electricity. In October 2019, it was announced that marine energy research centre MaREI was to lead a €4.2m marine energy project that would share development and technology between Ireland and Wales.
This latest study will include a review of the marine renewable energy sector, and the requirements and advantages that Ros an Mhíl harbour and Gaeltacht companies have to meet future demands and to benefit from opportunities that arise.
‘We look forward to the possibilities’
Údarás na Gaeltachta said it will collaborate with State authorities and Government departments as part of the study to agree an integrated approach to develop this potential resource. It is now hoped that tenders can be issued in the coming weeks so that work on the harbour could begin in the new year.
“We look forward to the possibilities that may arise from this work and the benefit that it will have for the Gaeltacht community on the west coast and for companies interested in the green economy,” said Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta.
“A service centre could create significant investment for the area, enhancing community life, creating extra employment and reducing the negative effects of climate change.”
The authority’s chair, Anna Ní Ghallachair, added that marine renewable energy is “a strategic sector” for the organisation. “If we are to halt climate change, we must avail of all opportunities there are to generate clean energy,” she said.