Work is beginning on the construction of a major wind energy plant in the Midlands.
28 turbines will be constructed on the Mount Lucas site in Co. Offaly making it one of the biggest wind farms in Ireland and the UK.
The announcement by Bord na Mona will create up to 150 construction jobs during the build of its new wind farm.
The national body representing the wind sector in Ireland - The Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) - has today welcomed the move.
'Milestone' for wind energy
Kenneth Matthews is CEO of the IWEA.
"This is another milestone in the development of wind energy in Ireland and a great example of the economic benefits that can accrue from this sector through job creation and investment in the local economy" he said.
"This project has the potential to create 150 jobs and provide enough electricity to power up to 50,000 Irish households. Its value to the local economy and the Irish economy more generally cannot be underestimated".
"Ireland is also on the verge of securing an ambitious Inter-Governmental energy trade agreement with the UK...Ireland can meet its domestic targets for 2020 but also has an opportunity to become a renewable electricity exporter of scale before 2020 and this project advances these goals considerably" he added.
The project is expected to provide a further 12 long-terms jobs when operational.