PLANS to erect more than 1,600 controversial wind turbines across the midlands was a "good news story" and the emphasis should not be on protests against their arrival, Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte has said.
The advent of wind turbine energy was about jobs and creating wealth for Ireland, he said.
"Why the emphasis on the protest, why is the emphasis not on the fact that we are creating new jobs in a new industry in a sector that is renewable?" the minister asked.
Mr Rabbitte welcomed the prospect of the new energy project when he attended a wind energy conference in Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Several major energy providers, Mainstream Renewable Power, Element Power and Bord na Mona are all hoping to cash in on an impending crisis in the UK energy market, which could see an opportunity for Irish producers to export electricity.