Offers to grid to connect 1321MW

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Offers to connect wind farms to the Irish grid are to begin to roll out this month under the second round of processing, known as Gate 2. Since 2004, the energy regulator has allowed the transmission and distribution system operators -- Eirgrid and ESB Networks -- to adopt a group processing approach for dealing with the build-up of applications for connection to the wires. Wind projects are processed in geographical groups which saves further delays compared to treating each application on an independent basis. Under the previous round of processing, Gate 1, connection offers were awarded for 370 MW of capacity. Gate 2 will be bigger, comprising 122 generators with a combined capacity of 1321 MW, nearly all of it wind. The projects all have consents in place and once connected, should be ready to proceed. Most of the projects will receive their connection offers by the end of August, but two groups totalling 50 projects will not receive offers until the end of the year due to the large number of generators wishing to connect in the south-west. The new capacity will put Ireland on track to meet its EU commitment of 13.2% of electricity from renewables.

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