Ireland's first solar energy station is inaugurated on Fota Island in Cork Harbour.

This is Ireland's first major experiment in solar energy research.

One of fifteen experimental stations located throughout Europe by the EEC Solar Energy Research Development Programme. 'The Fotaovoltaic Project' was built at a cost of £750,000 and is the biggest station in Britain or Ireland. 

The station supplies power for the calving unit, dairy, and other systems for the 250 cow dairy farm run by University College Cork (UCC) on Fota Island. Any surplus electricity, accounting for about half its daily output, is sold to the Electricity Supply Board (ESB). 

A solar cell is made from a wafer thin slice of silicone and converts light directly into electricity.

The station was opened by Cork's Lord Mayor Hugh Coveney. Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey was also in attendance as he had a vested interest in the project. Initial tests for the project were done by putting a unit into Haughey's Inishvickillane ( Inis Mhic Aoibhleáin) property off the Kerry coast. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 June 1983. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.