BORD GÁIS ENERGY, and its parent company Centrica, is set to develop two new power plants as part of a “long-term investment in Ireland”.
Clearance works have already started at the two sites in Athlone, Co Roscommon and Profile Park in Co Dublin.
Bord Gáis Energy says over €250 million will be invested in the two new power plants.
Both plants are expected to be completed by the end of 2024 and full construction and design tender competitions are in progress.
The plants will also be hydrogen enabled, in preparation for running on renewable gas when it is available.
The production of green hydrogen is one of the “key priorities” in the government’s National Energy Security Framework, which was developed to address the challenges of ensuring the long-term security of affordable energy supply.
When completed, Bord Gáis says the plants will be able to generate enough power to keep 100,000 homes fully powered all year round.
A Bord Gáis spokesperson said this is part of the company’s aim to “help make Ireland’s energy supply more stable and secure”.
Bord Gáis added that the plants will be capable of moving “from a standing start to full power generation inside of six minutes”.
The Bord Gáis spokesperson said this is “central to ensuring Ireland has a secure and stable energy supply, particularly at times of peak or short-term demand”.
Dave Kirwan, Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy, said: “In 2022 we will make no profit in residential energy supply and have instead sought to protect customers through absorbing some of the worst increases in energy prices.
“Taking a longer-term view, we are committing over €250m to the construction of the two flexible gas fired generation plants in Athlone and Dublin.
“In addition to our existing Whitegate power station, the construction of these two new plants will help the penetration of renewables on the system while also supporting Ireland’s journey to net zero.”
The war in Ukraine has put additional strain on energy security and has increased energy costs across Ireland and Europe.
In April of last year, the government updated its National Energy Security Framework, which is described as a “comprehensive response to Ireland’s energy security needs in the context of the war in Ukraine”.
The Framework also focused on how the government could manage the impacts of “dramatic increases” in energy costs on consumers and businesses.
It also set out plans to “reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels, in the context of the phasing out of Russian energy imports across the EU.”
The Framework also noted the “reduced reliability of existing plants” and expressed concern that anticipated new power stations were not being developed as planned.
Alongside the two new power plants that are planned by Bord Gáis, there are also plans for a temporary power plant in north Dublin.
The North Wall plant, which was approved by An Bord Pleanála in September, will be located within the boundaries of Dublin Port.
It is set to take 15 months to build and will be in operation for up to five years.
The plant will only run 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.Making a difference
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