At the February Meeting of Offaly County Council, a motion regarding the future of Shannonbridge Power Station was put forward by Cllr. John Clendennen of the Birr Electoral Area.
As part of the transition from carbon fuel to green renewable energy, Shannonbridge power station is expected to be decommissioned and demolished under its planning conditions, once it ceases to operate as a electricity power station.
Cllr. Clendennen called on ‘Offaly County Council Executive to collaborate with the Just Transition Commissioner and the ESB to maintain Shannonbridge Power Station in its entirety once it ceases to generate electricity, whilst identifying and developing opportunities to utilise the facility for tourism, remote working, cultural and educational purposes that will benefit the village of Shannonbridge and the surrounding area of West Offaly’.
In his remarks at the meeting, Cllr. Clendennen highlighted ‘the new reality facing the county and the region with the cessation of carbon fuel dependency and the onus on Offaly County Council to lead the way in providing innovative and sustainable alternatives’. Cllr. Clendennen outlined a number of potential opportunities which he envisages could bring sustainable economic benefit and job creation to Shannonbridge and West Offaly.
- Tourism – Adventure Sports along the Shannon and a gateway Gateway to Clonmacnoise along the River.
- Office Suites – Enterprise Unit and remote working considering the close proximity to the Motorway.
- Cultural – Film Studio Facility
- Educational – Museum to teach the next generation the history of carbon fuel and the importance of peatlands to the midlands.
Cllr. Clendennen referred to the power station facility costing over €200 million to construct, and deemed that the demolishment of the site in it’s entirety would be wasteful, and emphasised that ‘he was not looking for a fast tracking to cease electricity generation in Shannonbridge, but that the planning to re-occupy the site once it does cease must start now to ensure as seamless a transition as possible’.
He concluded his marks calling for ‘Shannonbridge Power Station site to be saved with new purposes identified that will benefit the village of Shannonbridge and West Offaly.
The motion was unanimously supported by Offaly County Council.