New record as wind power meets 39% of electricity demand

Thu, Aug 6, 2009, 01:00

A NEW record for the amount of electricity generated by Ireland’s wind farms was achieved last weekend, according to figures released by EirGrid.

High levels of wind power were recorded on Friday and Saturday, with the output of Ireland’s wind farms peaking at 999MW on Friday – enough to supply over 650,000 homes.

At times, the amount of wind power met a record 39 per cent of national electricity demand, said EirGrid, which operates the transmission system and wholesale power market.

The figures were recorded at its national control centre in Dublin, where flows of electricity are managed, and supply and demand for power are balanced by engineers on a 24/7 basis.

Through its “Grid25” strategy, EirGrid will be upgrading the national grid to increase the capacity of the transmission system and enable further large increases in renewable energy.

The company – formerly known as ESB National Grid – is also developing an electricity interconnector to Britain which would enable Ireland to become a significant exporter of renewable energy.

It said the progress made on wind power was “crucial in meeting national targets for renewable energy, reducing Ireland’s carbon dioxide emissions and reducing our dependency on imported fossil fuels”.

Ireland now has more than 1,085MW of installed wind capacity, with a further 3,900MW expected to come online in the next few years under a new system for grid connections.

The Government has set a 40 per cent target for renewable energy by 2020 – including wind, wave, biomass and hydropower – as part of its plan to build a smart economy.