Denis Naughten TD has said that he is disappointed with the “hands off” approach being taken by the Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan to the potential future use of the two midland peat power stations at Lanesboro and Shannonbridge.
Deputy Naughten made his comments after questioning the Minister in the Dáil last night where Minister Ryan stated that the ESB were committed to the midland Counties yet the Minister failed to address the point raised by Denis Naughten that “if the ESB were so committed why did they try to get electricity customers across this country to repay the company the €5m that it put into the Just Transition Fund?”
TDs were told one month ago that the review headed by the ESB to look at alternative uses of the two power plants is recommending the demolition of both buildings and this is despite the fact that both plants have 10 years of operation remaining and will result in a €176m loss in investment already paid by electricity customers across the Country.
While Minister Ryan failed to acknowledge this fact, it is clear from his admission in the Dáil that “International Consultants” are being brought in to confirm the conclusions of the demolition report in order to provide him with political cover when it is formally published.
He did however admit that there will be investment in electricity grid management at both sites which will have to be paid for by electricity customers, and this is a direct result of having to replace the grid stability provided by these two power stations.
Again, hard pressed families struggling to pay electricity bills, will be footing the bill for the demolition of the power stations and the replacement technology.
Denis Naughten reminded Minister Ryan that “we have seen the mistakes that were made in the past with the demolition of our two sugar plants in Mallow and Carlow, which I argued against at the time. Do not let us repeat the mistakes we made in our sugar industry. Do not let these power plants be demolished until all possible alternatives have been fully explored”.
Watch the debate here: