Work begins on new power plants in Athlone and Dublin to improve security of energy supply
Innovative power plants can run on natural gas and hydrogen mix, with the ability to convert to 100% hydrogen in the future
18 January 2023: Bord Gáis Energy and its parent company, Centrica plc, have started a long-term investment in Ireland with over €250m approved for the construction of two innovative new power plants.
When completed, the new plants combined will provide 200MW of flexible gas-fired power generation; enough power to keep 100,000 homes fully powered all year round. Because they are flexible, they can be easily switched on and off as demand peaks, helping to make Ireland’s energy supply more stable and secure.
With two locations – Athlone, Co. Roscommon, and Profile Park, Co. Dublin - clearance works have commenced at each site and the full construction and design tender competitions are also in progress with multiple tenderers participating.
Both power plants are expected to be completed by end of 2024. When operating, they can react to the peaks and troughs of electricity generation from renewable generators and the relative speed with which they can be switched on and off is a key benefit. The plants are capable of moving from a standing start to full power generation inside of six minutes and are central to ensuring Ireland has a secure and stable energy supply, particularly at times of peak or short-term demand. The proposed plants will also be hydrogen enabled, in preparation for running on renewable gas when it is available.
Speaking about the investment today, Dave Kirwan, Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy said, “We recognise the current difficulties facing consumers all across Ireland in relation to energy costs. Our focus is on protecting our customers as much as we can right now, while also using our financial strength to make investments that will protect them in the future.”
“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, supporting the most vulnerable and investing in our customer service teams and training. We have put in place an energy support fund and committed 10% of operating profit from other parts of our business to further support customers who need it most right now.”
“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.”