An Irish energy firm has received a loan worth €155 million (£126m) for renewable energy generation in Ireland.
The loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) will help Bord Gáis, which powers nearly 180,000 homes, construct and operate six onshore wind farms with a total generation capacity of 141MW. The new projects are also expected to help the nation achieve its target of generating 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and cut the use of fossil fuel.
Mihai Tanasescu, EIB’s Vice President said: “The European Investment Bank is pleased to support long-term investment in renewable energy in Ireland. The Bord Gáis programme uses a free natural resource that exists in abundance in Ireland and will create jobs across the country… Completion of these projects will contribute to the achievement of the Irish Government’s renewable energy targets.”
The new projects will increase Bord Gáis’ operational wind capacity by more than 50%, from 234MW to 365MW. The initiative is part of a €311 million (£252.7m) programme and is expected to be completed in 2013/14.
Earlier this year, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) said the nation’s wind sector could create around 30,000 jobs by 2020 if the Government brings reforms in the industry.