Connecting Wicklow to the national grid

Electricity in the county before ESB

Wicklow 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.

Wicklow’s 11 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • Arthur B Brennan of 56—57 Main Street, supplied electricity in Arklow before 1927. He supplied 2 homes and businesses in 1929, before the supply was acquired by ESB.
  • E Morrin and Son Ltd. of Mill Street, Baltinglass , supplied electricity locally before 1927. They supplied 1 home or and business in 1929, and were acquired by ESB around 1930—1931.
  • Bray Urban District Council was in operation before 1927. It supplied 783 homes and businesses, and was acquired by ESB in July 1928.
  • Henry J Coleburn supplied electricity in Dunlavin before 1927. He supplied 1 home or business in 1929, and was acquired by ESB around 1932—1933.
  • Enniskerry Electric Supply Co-op Society was in operation before 1927. It supplied 41 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 52 in 1946, before the supply was acquired by ESB by 1947.
  • Greystones Electric Light and Power Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 330 homes and businesses in 1929, before the supply was acquired by ESB in May 1930.
  • The Earl of Fitzwilliam generated electricity on his estate at Shillelagh before 1927. He is recorded as supplying 4 homes or businesses in 1945, before the supply was acquired by ESB.
  • Wicklow Urban District Council was in operation before 1927. It supplied 140 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in February 1929.
  • WJ Byrne supplied electricity in Aughrim before 1927. The number of homes and businesses he supplied is unrecorded, and his supply was acquired by ESB around 1951—1952.
  • The Messrs Wynne supplied electricity in Glendalough before 1927. They supplied 4 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 17 by 1960, when the supply was acquired by ESB.
  • Joseph Keenan began supplying electricity at Roundwood in 1946, serving 46 homes and businesses. The supply was acquired by ESB around 1954—1955.

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, 20 towns and villages across Wicklow were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Arklow, 1929
  • Ashford, 1939—1940
  • Baltinglass, 1929
  • Blessington, 1937—1938
  • Bray, 1930
  • Carnew, 1937—1938
  • Delgany, 1932—1933
  • Dunlavin, 1941-1942
  • Enniskerry, 1941—1942
  • Greystones, 1930—1931
  • Kilcoole, 1943—1944
  • Killincarrig, 1932—1933
  • Kilmacanogue, 1936—1937
  • Newtownmountkennedy, 1934—1935
  • Rathdrum, 1929
  • Rathnew, 1936—1937
  • Scalp, 1952—1953
  • Shillelagh, 1944—1945
  • Tinahely, 1944—1945
  • Wicklow, 1931

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.

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, Wicklow was divided into 23 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.

Generation stations

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

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