Farmers dismayed as future of power plant in question after poor energy rating
An unfinished power plant that former Taoiseach Enda Kenny turned the sod on faces the ‘death-knell’ after a poor rating by the energy regulator.
Farmers and locals have expressed dismay with the future viability of the Mayo Power plant in Killala now in question after a local TD revealed the decision of the energy regulator to issue a Certificate of High Efficiency to the company with a rate of 18pc - compared to a 100pc rating issued previously.
In order to obtain certain carbon tax relief, it must be determined that the project meets the requirements for high-efficiency cogeneration by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CER). The relief is intended to take account of the higher energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly aspects of these plants.
Local Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin said the decision could sound the ‘death-knell’ for the short-term delivery of a 45 MW high-efficiency, combined heat and power, biomass-fuelled power plant which was to cost up to €200m to build.
Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny turned the sod on the facility, which was being built in Killala by US-backed company Mayo Renewable Power in 2015.
"This is devastating for the area. The construction of the power plant would bring jobs and it is partially constructed, with €95 million spent out of €255 million for the project. There would also be jobs when it is operational.," Mulherin said.
Ms Mulherin also highlighted that farmers in the area will also lose out on an alternative source of income. At the time of its launch, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was supportive of the plant's development and highlighted the potential benefits for local farmers.
Kenny said that he hoped local farmers would “realise that they have...land on which they can grow a renewable crop and that they will avail of that". He said farmer involvement would lessen the dependency on imports and would also “provide extra cash income for many farmers right across the west and north west".