Two large emergency electricity generators sought for Dublin

EirGrid says process of securing emergency generation for next winter has been instigated

A Government department has advanced plans for the provision of two large-scale emergency electricity generators for the capital.

This follows the Department of the Environment entering formal consultation with An Bord Pleanála on the construction of temporary emergency electricity generators for Dublin.

The board notices confirm that the department is seeking to construct one generator at North Wall, Alexandra Road, in Dublin 1, and a second at Huntstown power station, in north county Dublin. It is due to issue directions in the strategic infrastructure development (SID) consultation cases at the end of July.

A spokesman for the department said on Friday it was working closely with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) and EirGrid to ensure continued secure supplies of electricity.


“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,” it said.

Two tenders

EirGrid issued two separate tenders – one for 200 megawatts and another for 100MW.

A spokesman for EirGrid confirmed on Friday it had not yet appointed winning tenders.

EirGrid last year warned that the electricity system would remain tight for the coming winters with CRU and EirGrid putting in place a programme of work to ensure security of supply.

This includes increasing the availability of existing generators, developing new generation capacity including temporary generation, and actions to enhance demand-side response including large consumers reducing demand when the system margin is low.

The EirGrid spokesman said that maintaining the balance between supply and demand had become increasingly challenging due to several factors.

“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,” he said. “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.

‘Emergency generation’

"One of the measures EirGrid is seeking is the connection of new temporary generation in order to maintain security of electricity supply in Ireland. A process of securing emergency generation for next winter has been instigated on the instruction of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities.

“EirGrid is continuing to work on a range of actions to address this supply-demand shift for the medium- and long-term. In the short term we are closely monitoring the situation and working with conventional generators to ensure that plant performance and availability is maximised as well as working to optimise our operation of the grid.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times