Connecting Kerry to the national grid

Electricity in the county before ESB

Kerry had electricity before the establishment of ESB in 1927. ESB’s annual reports record 11 local electricity suppliers in the county — that means 11 individuals or companies who had permits to commercially supply electricity to 3 or more homes and businesses in their local area. The reports do not record when each local supplier was first established, merely the number of consumers they supplied, as well as the year the supplier was acquired by ESB.

Kerry’s 11 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • Ballybunion Electricity Supply Co. Ltd. began to supply electricity in 1934, initially supplying 108 homes and businesses, rising to 238 by 1946, when it was acquired by ESB around 1946—1947.
  • D O’Sullivan and Sons supplied electricity in Ballylongford before ESB, serving 1 home or business in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1933—1934.
  • Cahirciveen Electric Light and Power Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 210 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 483 in 1956, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Thomas McKenna of Green Street, Dingle, supplied electricity before 1927, serving 2 homes and businesses in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1933—1934.
  • Dingle Electric Light and Power Co. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 118 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 219 in 1953, and was acquired by ESB around 1954.
  • Kenmare Electric Supply Co. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 86 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 288 in 1957, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Kerry Electric Supply Co. Ltd. in Killarney was in operation before 1927. It supplied 265 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 576 in 1937, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Killorglin Electric Light and Power Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 147 homes and businesses in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1936—1937.
  • Listowel Electric Light and Power Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 336 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in September 1929.
  • Messrs R McCowen and Sons Ltd. in Tralee was in operation before 1927. It supplied 3 homes and businesses in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1930.
  • Electricity Supply Co. Ltd. began to supply electricity in Waterville in 1938, initially serving 29 homes and businesses, rising to 114 by 1956, when it was acquired by ESB.

Shannon Scheme: connecting larger towns and villages to the national grid

The Shannon Scheme first began to generate electricity for the national grid in October 1929, and began to supply the larger cities, towns and villages of Ireland. From 1929, 16 towns and villages across Kerry were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Abbeyfeale, 1929—1930
  • Ballybunion, 1946—1947
  • Ballylongford, 1938—1939
  • Brosna, 1943—1944
  • Castleisland, 1929—1930
  • Castlemaine, 1936—1937
  • Dingle, 1953—1954
  • Duagh, 1943—1944
  • Killarney, 1937—1938
  • Killorglin, 1936—1937
  • Listowel, November 1930
  • Tralee, November 1929
  • Miltown, 1936—1937
  • Newtownsandes, 1938—1939
  • Rathmore, 1941—1942
  • Tarbert, 1938—1939

For more information on the connection of these towns, for instance relating to the number of homes and businesses connected, see our connections map here [LINK]

Rural Electrification Scheme: connecting rural townlands and villages to the national grid

The Rural Electrification Scheme began in 1946, to bring electricity to Ireland’s rural areas, including smaller villages. During the roll-out of the scheme, Kerry was divided into 47 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.

Post-development: connecting the islands to the national grid

To date, 1 island off the coast of Kerry has been connected to the grid:

  • Valencia Island, c1959

For more information on the connection of this island, see our connections map here.

Generation stations

Since 1927, 2 generating stations have been built in Kerry. Click the links below to read more about each station.

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