The Irish energy provider, Eirtricity, has opened a windfarm, while it plans one of the largest offshore wind facilities in the world.CULLIAGH, Donegal, IE, 2001-12-27 [SolarAccess.com] Ireland’s first privately-funded windfarm was opened by Irish energy minister Joe Jacob. The IR£3 million facility will generate 12 megawatt from the Culliagh plant, outside Ballybofey. The company also asked the minister recently to open a windfarm near Ballyconnell in Country Cavan, which uses two 1.5 MW Enron turbines. This brings the green power capacity of Eirtricity to 40 MW, and the utility has windfarm projects totaling 2,300 MW in the works in Ireland, Britain and Scotland. The company is planning to build the 520 MW Arklow Banks windfarm off the Irish coast, south of Dublin, at a cost of Euros 550 million. The first of four phases will see construction start early next year with completed by fall. The project will meet the power needs of 200 technology companies. Eirtricity wants Enron Wind to provide 3.6 MW turbines for the Irish project, larger than the 2.5 MW units on the market now. Enron Wind is not included in the bankruptcy proceedings of its U.S. parent company, Enron Corp. “The social benefit of avoided pollution is in the region of IR£173 million and the avoided CO2 alone will be in the order of 1.1 million tonnes per year,” says Eddie O’Connor, managing director of Eirtricity. “A move towards green electricity generation is vital to the survival of our environment, to say nothing of the contribution to Ireland’s commitments under the Kyoto treaty.” Five hundred jobs will be created and the utility will encourage suppliers to use resources and materials available in Arklow and surrounding towns and communities.