The Huntstown Power Station in Dublin Sam Boal
emergency power

Government formally submits application for second emergency power station in Dublin

The proposed Huntstown facility is expected to provide approximately 50 megawatts to the Irish grid.

ENERGY MINISTER EAMON Ryan has formally submitted a planning application for a emergency power plant in north Dublin.

The proposed development, which would be located at the existing Huntstown Power Station, has been submitted to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) with a decision set to be issued early next year.

It is understood that the proposed Huntstown facility would provide approximately 50 megawatts to the Irish grid.

This is approximately enough to power 40,250 homes for a year.

This is the second emergency power generator to be sought by the Government to address ongoing energy shortfalls, with the first temporary generation facility being approved by ABP last month.

The facility, located in North Wall, is expected to take up to 15 months to build and will be in operation for five years, according to reports by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.

Alongside the Huntstown emergency generator, there will be approximately 250 additional megawatts added to the Irish grid when the two projects are completed.

The Journal initially reported on the two proposed generators in April, with the sites set to be fossil-fuel powered.

Temporary emergency generation in Dublin has been well flagged in recent months, with the latest supply report by EirGrid showing that Ireland will face “significant” electricity supply issues in the coming years.

The grid operator has predicted Ireland will face electricity capacity deficits within the next ten years, particularly due to the deteriorating availability of power plants which will leave them unusable ahead of their planned retirement dates.

This is expected to remove 590 megawatts of power from the Irish grid.

Additionally, there are further electricity supply constraints after 630 megawatts of forecasted generation never arrived onto the grid, after contracted providers pulled out.

The concerns around electricity supply comes as EirGrid expects the demand for electricity to rise, particularly for data centres.

The report anticipates that overall electricity demand will increase by 37% by 2031, with demand from residential, commercial and industry set to remain “relatively consistent”, while there will be major growth from data centres and new large electricity users.

In particular, EirGrid is forecasting that, by 2031, 28% of all electricity demand will come from data centres and other large electricity users.

The ESB are also set to seek planning permission to build a new gas-fired power generator outside Cork city later this year, which would be located at the Aghada Power Plant.

North Wall project

The North Wall plant, which was approved by ABP last month, will be located within the boundaries of Dublin Port.

Assessment reports published by the Department of Environment detail that the emergency generator will only operate when electricity demand is high and when generation from other sources, like wind, is low.

It’s expected to run for up to 500 hours a year and only four hours a day when it is needed.

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