Huntstown Power Plant in Co Dublin. Sam Boal
power supplies

Government seeks permission to build two emergency electricity generators in Dublin

The two generators are planned to be located in North Wall and Huntstown Power Station in Co Dublin.

APPLICATIONS FOR TWO temporary electricity generators in Dublin have been filed by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to An Bord Pleanála.

The applications, which are for two temporary generators in North Wall in Dublin and in Huntstown Power Station in Dublin, would provide 300 additional megawatts of power to the Irish electricity grid, according to an Eirgrid tender notice issued last October.

This is enough energy to power just under half a million homes for a year.

Concerns around electricity generation were first raised by EirGrid last year due to rising demand and the closure of some older, fossil-fuel power plants, like Moneypoint in Clare.

A major report by EirGrid showed that Ireland could potentially face electricity shortages over the next several winters due to the shutdown of older plants.

The Journal understands that these new emergency generators are to be fossil-fuel powered and are expected to be used for the next two to three years.

It is understood that EirGrid is seeking to have them operational before this winter when it’s expected further pressure will be placed on the electricity grid due to higher usage.

The two applications were filed to An Bord Pleanala on 25 March as Strategic Infrastructure Developments (SID).

These are projects that are deemed as strategically important economic or social developments.

In a statement to The Journal, EirGrid said that due to the closure of older plants, there is further pressure being placed on the “supply-demand” balance.

“Maintaining the balance between supply and demand has become increasingly challenging due to several factors,” a spokesperson for EirGrid said.

“These include the phasing out of certain types of conventional generation providing additional backup in line with European directives and significant growth in electricity demand.

These factors have the potential to place increased pressure on the supply demand balance, particularly when demand for electricity is high and renewable generation is low.

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications says it’s working with both EirGrid and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) to ensure electricity supplies are maintained.

“The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications is working closely with the CRU and EirGrid to ensure continued secure supplies of electricity,” said a spokesperson for the Department.

“These notices form part of the process that is being managed by EirGrid, in line with their tender for Temporary Emergency Generation which closed in November 2021.”

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