Co Galway port could create up to 900 jobs in offshore wind, says new report

1 day ago

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An Údarás na Gaeltachta report described Ros an Mhíl as a prime location for the development of a new offshore wind hub.

A new report has identified Ros an Mhíl in the Gaeltacht region of Co Galway as a suitable location for the development of a floating offshore wind hub, with the potential to create up to 900 jobs.

Launched by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, TD, the report said that Ros an Mhíl’s proximity to offshore project locations and its potential deep berth could make it an attractive location for investment from the industry.

The report was commissioned by Údarás na Gaeltachta, the State agency responsible for the development of the Gaeltacht. It is working with the local community and the harbour development committee to ensure appropriate infrastructure is made available for a hub.

“This is a strategic sector for Údarás na Gaeltachta. If we are to address climate change, we must avail of all opportunities there are to generate clean energy,” said chair Anna Ní Ghallachair.

“A strategic development hub like this could create significant investment in the area, enhance life in the community, create employment and reduce the impact of climate change.”

‘Obvious candidate’

Ros an Mhíl has a large land bank next to the proposed 12m-deep water berth, which is owned by Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The report estimates that 3GW worth of wind projects could generate 900 direct and indirect jobs in the region, as well as help in the fight against the climate crisis.

“The enormous wind and wave energy resource off the west coast should drive major new income and job creation in the area over the next 20 years,” said Peter Coyle, chair of the Marine Renewables Industry Association (MRIA).

“The MRIA have long held the view that new port capacity will be required in the west and Ros an Mhíl is the obvious candidate with its deep water, land availability, geographical advantage and the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta.”

There has been some recent investment activity in the region, with the Green Investment Group’s acquisition of the 400MW Sceirde Rocks offshore windfarm in Co Galway – which is projected to generate enough energy to power up to 295,000 homes.

“Údarás na Gaeltachta is committed to ensuring Gaeltacht areas will benefit from any boost in the renewable energy sector in the years ahead and it forms a significant role in our strategy for 2021 to 2025,” added Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, the State agency’s CEO.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com