Emergency power plant approval amid fears of state supply

Bord Pleanála on Wednesday approved government plans to construct a 210 megawatt emergency power plant at the existing North Wall power plant in Dublin.

The emergency plant consists of six 35 MW gas turbine units of a modular design to be installed in the existing generating station on the south side of Alexandra Road within Dublin Port.

Environment Minister Eamon Ryan presented the plans on June 28 only under the emergency provisions of the Planning and Development Act and the Appeals Board was expected to make a decision on December 1.

However, against the backdrop of growing concerns about the state’s energy supply, An Bord Pleanála has “fast-tracked” the planning request and has now granted approval.

emergency generators

ESB will install the temporary emergency generators and in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) submitted with the planning application, warned that “if the proposed development does not proceed, a blackout could occur in the absence of the proposed development unless emergency generation is provided in place Another due to the expected demand for the system.”

The EIA stated that “this would have a significant negative impact in terms of energy and supply requirements at home, at work, for commercial and industrial developments”.

The Energy Information Administration has stated that the temporary emergency generating plant will be in place for up to five years starting in early 2023 and will operate for up to 500 hours per year on natural gas only, usually four hours per day when called upon.

The board inspector’s report in the case stated that the proposed work including site preparation and construction would take approximately 15 months to complete, and the system is expected to be operational by mid to late 2023.

However, timeframes can now be submitted with approval given two and a half months earlier than expected.

the demand

Planning documents state that the emergency power plant is designed to start quickly and will operate when electricity demand is high and generation capacity from other sources available on the system is at risk of not meeting demand.

The application was submitted in response to Eirgrid seeking candidates to provide up to 200MW of emergency generation to the transmission grid by a target date of the third quarter of 2022, at a generation site in the Greater Dublin area with sufficient space, existing gas and electrical grid connections to enable generation delivery In emergency situations due to a possible shortage of available obstetrics.

The EIA stated that the North Wall generating station, the proposed development site, was identified as meeting the necessary criteria. EirGrid has identified the North Wall as a preferred site for progress in providing emergency generation.

Eirgrid sought candidates to provide 200 megawatts of emergency generation after the Utilities Regulatory Commission (CRU) identified a significant risk to the security of electricity supply arising from unexpected generator outages and delays in the delivery of new gas-fired generation capacity. .

The Bord Pleanála inspector’s report in the case stated that after An Bord Pleanála approved the request, the Minister of Environment, Climate and Communications would issue a ministerial order to allow the project to proceed.