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An Bord Pleanála refuses permission for West Offaly Power conversion proposal

In Ireland, the national planning authority An Bord Pleanála has refused permission for the proposed development by the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) to convert its existing 150 MW peat-fired West Offaly Power Station in Shannonbridge to run on biomass. The authority found that the proposed development would be "contrary to proper planning and sustainable development" given that significant volumes of imported biomass would have to be trucked to the inland location.

The ESB's 150 MW West Offaly Power is a milled peat power plant in Shannonbridge, Co Offaly, Ireland and is one of the largest purpose-built peat-fired stations in the world. The station is nearing the end of a 15-year contract to burn peat supplied by Bord na Móna. The Irish planning authority An Bord Pleanála has however not granted permission for the proposed development to convert the plant to run on biomass (photo courtesy ESB).

The ESB’s 150 MW West Offaly Power is a milled peat power plant in Shannonbridge, Co Offaly,
Ireland and is one of the largest purpose-built peat-fired stations in the world. The station is
nearing the end of a 15-year contract to burn peat supplied by Bord na Móna. The Irish planning
authority An Bord Pleanála has however not granted permission for the proposed development to
convert the plant to run on biomass (photo courtesy ESB).

In November 2018, the Irish national power utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) filed a planning application with An Bord Pleanála outlining the proposed development of its 150 MW peat-fired West Offaly Power Station in Shannonbridge, Co. Offaly to run on biomass. The power station currently has permission to operate as a peat-fuelled electricity generating station with separate ash disposal sites up until to December 31, 2020, by which it is to have ceased operations.

The proposed development submitted by the ESB would enable the continued operation of West Offaly Power Station and the associated ash disposal facility beyond the December 31, 2020, cutoff point and the phased fuel transition of the power station from peat to biomass to reach 100 percent biomass fuelling by 2027.

An Bord Pleanála has concluded its consideration of the ESB’s application and has refused permission for the proposed development at the existing West Offaly Power Station, Shannonbridge and the existing ash disposal site at Derrylahan.

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