AN BORD Pleanála has approved the application by Endesa Ireland, part of the Spanish energy company, to build a combined-cycle gas turbine power plant on the former ESB station at Tarbert, Co Kerry.
The power plant, which will generate up to 450 megawatts by 2016, is to be built within the confines of the existing power-generating plant at Tarbert, which is to be demolished, on the Shannon estuary opposite Moneypoint.
The plant is likely to be supplied with gas from the national gas network, An Bord Gáis, currently some 22km away, and possibly from the nearby liquified natural gas terminal, Shannon LNG, at Kilcolgan near Ballylongford.
A submarine cable is to supply Moneypoint.
The new more energy efficient plant at Tarbert will occupy 10 hectares of the existing 42-hectare site and be constructed in two phases over four years.
The Endesa application came under the Strategic Infrastructure Act, which provides for planning applications for some major projects to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála, and an oral hearing was held earlier this year.
An Taisce questioned the need for the plant in light of the increase in carbon emissions that would be involved. The local development organisation welcomed the proposal.
The board has attached more than 20 conditions to the proposal.
A community gain fund of €200,000, made up of four annual payments of €50,000, is to begin the year of construction. The money is to be managed by a liaison committee made up of the local community in Tarbert, representatives of Kerry County Council and Endesa.
Other conditions include noise-level restrictions, screening and dust-control measures. There is a 10-year period for the development.
Endesa has substantial electricity interests in Spain and Latin America. Endesa Ireland was established in January 2009 following its acquisition of former ESB stations at Great Island, Wexford; Tarbert, Co Kerry; Rhode, Offaly, and Tawnaghmore, Co Mayo.