The Arigna power station

After the second world war a major program of electrification was initiated by the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and in 1958 a coal fired power station was built in Arigna on the shore of Lough Allen. This was the first major electricity generating station in Connaught.  Designed and manufactured in Germany the station was built specifically to burn Arigna's semi-bituminous coal.  At peak production, the power station burned 55,000 tons of coal annually and employed 60 people directly. However from the outset, one of the primary reasons behind its construction was to secure hundreds of jobs in the local mining industry.  By the 1970s 65% of the coal mined in Arigna was consumed at the generation plant.  In the 1980s Arigna's supply of top grade coal was used up and in 1990 the ESB announced the  closure of the power station.  The power station finally closed down in 1991.   Research was done into the possibility of building a new power station that would use crow coal (A low quality coal) of which there is still a large quantity in the Arigna coalfield.  When this research proved unsuccessful the coal mines finally closed in 1990 bringing an end to over 400 years of mining tradition in the Arigna area.
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Lough allen power station

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