As of yesterday morning, 8,500 Kildare households, or 12 per cent of the total, will be powered by the methane gas coming from the Drehid landfill site.
This follows a €6 million investment and will generate three jobs.
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resource Pat Rabbitte, flipped the switch on four generating machines yesterday morning at the Drehid site, which is owned and managed by Bord na Mona.
The semi-state company has been extracting and burning off thousands of cubic metres of methane gas at the site since it opened.
This hitherto wasted energy is now attached to four generating machines, and will produce up to 5.6 megawatts of electricity.
At the launch yesterday, Bord na Mona CEO Gabriel Darcy explained that this was in line with the company’s emphasis on “resource recovery”.
Instead of seeing methane as a problem that must be managed, he said, it was now being harnessed as a valuable resource.
The cost of the investment was approximately €6 million, and 30 people were employed throughout the construction.
Three people will be employed locally to manage the generators.
The Drehid site is in the middle of a 6,000 acre Bord na Mona landholding between Allenwood, Timahoe and Derrinturn.
The generators take up less than half an acre beside the landfill site.
Minister Rabbitte and other visitors to the site were met by a protest by North Kildare Environmental Protection Group, highlighting their opposition to wind turbines.