Bellacorick Generating Station is a milled peat station with a capacity of forty megawatts. The construction of the station commenced in May 1958; the first generating unit was commissioned in November 1964, and the second unit in January 1963. The capital of the station was £2.5 millions.
The plant comprises two 20,000kilowatts turbo-alternators, driven by two boilers capable of producing 95,000kilograms of steam per hour. The power is passed through transformers to the 110,000 volt transmission network. A supply is given to the local 10,000 volt and 38,000 volt distribution networks.
All the milled peat is obtained by Bord na Mona in Bellacorick. During an average year the station burns about 305,000 tonnes of peat, and generates about 140 million units of electricity. (Employment 1982 - 120 people).
Bord na Mona began operations in Mayo in 1952, and in 1982 owned 10,000 hectares of bog in the county. On average they produce 310,000 tonnes of milled peat per annum with a 55% moisture content. (permanent staff 1982 - 280 ).
The Musical Bridge at Bellacorick is a great location attraction. Musical sounds can be produced by running a stone along the northern parapet.
The above article is an extract from: 'Mayo - Aspects of its Heritage', by Bernard O'Hara. Published by kind permission of author.
Production at the Bellacorrick Station ceased in 2005 following the construction of two new peat-burning stations in the midlands and its huge cooling tower had to be dismantled for health and safety reasons.
At 11am on Sunday Oct 14th 2007, the 300ft Bellacorick cooling tower, which for nearly 50 years marked the gateway into Erris, came crashing down in a spectacular controlled explosion, leaving 4,600 tonnes of rubble on the site of the tower.
The cooling tower was the last of its kind in Ireland and this well-known landmark had provided seasonal employment for up to 600 workers for nearly 50 years.