Thursday, 19 October 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
77. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Enterprise the number, location and capacity of electricity generating stations both operating and proposed; the extent to which the national requirement is being met; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22797/00]
79. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if adequate supply of power is available through the national grid to meet current and future demands; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22799/00]
I refer the Deputy to the responses I gave to similar questions from him on 15 February – composite Dáil Questions Nos. 117 and 118 – and 20 June 2000 – Dáil Question No. 96. There is no major change in the position since then.
The growth in demand for electricity continues to be managed competently by ESB. The categoric assurance which I have received from the chairman of ESB about the adequacy of the power supply situation this coming winter remains valid.
In addition to the 160MW unit which is now operational at Poolbeg and the new 120MW peat plant at Edenderry which will come on stream in the next few weeks, ESB have taken an operational decision to lease five 22MW standby generators which will maximise the flexibility available to the company in meeting demand this winter. The question of power shortages this winter, therefore, does not arise.
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In relation to proposed generating stations, prospective power producers apply to the Commission for Electricity Regulation for the necessary authorisations and licences in accordance with the provisions of the Electricity Regulation Act, 1999. ESB have received an authorisation from the commission and have commenced construction of a new 400MW gas fired plant at Ringsend. Details of other applications and their status can be found on the commission's website at www.cer.ie.
In summary, and as I indicated previously, the current capacity situation is being managed professionally by ESB. As regards the future, I am confident that the additional capacity required by economic growth will be provided by the industry, based on projects currently planned or in the pipeline.
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