Written Answers. - Electricity Generation.

Thursday, 19 October 2000

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 524 No. 4

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  77.  Mr. Durkan  Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan   asked the Minister for Public Enterprise  Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke   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  Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan   asked the Minister for Public Enterprise  Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke   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]

Minister for Public Enterprise (Mrs. O'Rourke): Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke  I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 and 79 together.

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.

Apart from small scale renewable energy projects, ESB currently has approximately 4500MW [941] of installed generating capacity provided by the following 18 power stations:

Name Type Capacity
Moneypoint Coal 915MW
Tarbert Oil 632MW
Great Island Oil 240MW
Aghada Gas/Oil 540MW
Poolbeg Gas/Oil 980MW
North Wall Gas/Oil 267MW
Marina Gas 115MW
Shannonbridge Milled Peat 125MW
Lanesboro Milled Peat 85MW
Rhode Milled Peat 40MW
Bellacorick Milled Peat 40MW
Cahirciveen Sod Peat 5MW
Turlough Hill Pump Storage 292MW
Liffey/Poulaphouca Hydro 38MW
Ardnacrusha Hydro 86MW
Erne Hydro 65MW
Clady Hydro 4MW
Lee/Inniscarra Hydro 27MW

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.

The national transmission grid will itself require very significant investment to meet the needs of a rapidly growing and liberalised market.


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