A public consultation process is being launched in Co Mayo today on a proposed major energy infrastructure project.
Eirgrid - the company responsible for operating the country's electricity transmission system - says Grid West would be used to harness the the region's enormous renewable energy sources.
Its hoped the €240m development would come on line by late 2019, allowing for the creation of several hundred jobs in the construction and running of the system.
"The west of Ireland is particularly rich in renewable energy resources and has the potential for much job creation," Taoiseach Enda Kenny said at the launch.
"Harnessing and exploiting this resource for Ireland will require detailed planning involving high levels of engagement between communities and EirGrid that will allow the construction of critical infrastructure for the benefit of the West and for Ireland.
"This infrastructure will also assist the region to attract inward investment that requires a strong reliable source of power."
The Grid West project will initially consist of a new high capacity power line linking Bellacorick in Co Mayo to a strong point on the transmission grid.
Based on the region's huge renewable potential it is envisaged that, in time, the project will involve two high capacity power lines from Bellacorick, to both Cashla in Co Galway and Flagford in Co Roscommon.
According to Alan McHugh, Grid West project manager, developing the project will involve a number of steps over the coming years.
"The public will be consulted extensively through a series of consultations to gather information and feedback from the earliest stages of development right through to the completion of the project.
"Right now we are at the start of this project and EirGrid will be following a comprehensive consultation roadmap which will ensure that the views of all stakeholders interested in the project will be heard," Mr McHugh added.
"The first stage of the Grid West Project is to publish and gather information on the study area, the search area within which the project will be located."
Further information on the project is available on its dedicated website, or via an information line at 1890 94 08 02
"We will be opening information offices across the study area in the coming weeks and as the project develops we will hold open days in the counties involved," Mr McHugh said.. People can also email the project team at Gridwest@eirgrid.com."