"It really is a landmark day," is how Waterford Green Party TD Marc O Cathasaigh described the Government decision to allow four wind farm companies permission to go ahead and apply for planning permission.
Among the decisions made was the provisional approval of the country's first mega offshore wind farm off the east coast.
Three of the planned wind farms will be off the coast near Drogheda and Dublin, while the fourth will be off the Co Galway coast.
While provisionally cleared for planning, they will have to go to An Bord Pleanála for approval.
The projects are as follows:
- North Sea Irish Array, backed by Norway’s Statkraft
- Dublin Array, backed by German group RWE and local player, Saorgus Energy
- Codling Wind Park, backed by French giant EDF Renewables and Norwegian business, Fred Olsen Seawind
- Sceirde Rocks, backed by Corio Generation, owed by Australian bank Macquarie’s Green Investment Group
Deputy O Cathasaigh told Déise Today that the projects will save the Irish consumer millions.
"For the next 20 years we are making sure we are securing a clean, green, indigenous energy supply for the Irish consumer."
"Over the lifetime of the contract, Irish consumers will save billions by virtue of the fact that we are producing this energy off our own coasts at a reasonable price."
In his view, An Bord Pleanála has turned a corner in terms of recruitment so says Waterford Green Party TD Marc O Cathasaigh.
Deputy O Cathasaigh says the agency is putting together a specific Marine Directorate.
"It is a new type of planning we haven't seen in this country before. We have competing needs here, we have to protect our near-shore fishermen, we have to preserve their living, we have to establish our off-shore wind, and we have to be mindful of our biodiversity."
For all your latest Waterford news and sport, click here.