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Eirgrid seeking bids for new power plants to start operations by 2025

  • 3 months ago (2021-08-18)
  • David Flin
Europe 864 Gas 238 Offshore wind 77 Transmission 116

Ireland’s national grid operator Eirgrid has announced that it will seek bids from electricity suppliers to build new power plants in the country. This is to combat a potential shortage resulting from growing demand and the prospect that some existing plants may close. Eirgrid said that on current projections, Ireland will need new power stations by late 2024 and early 2025 to guarantee supplies.

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Eirgrid said that it will hold a capacity auction in January 2022 where it will select power suppliers to build what will probably be gas-fired plants. Successful bidders will be known in February or March. A similar auction held in January 2021 attracted bids for power plants with a combined capacity of 6138 MW. However, only about 25 per cent of this was new capacity. The rest was from existing operators confirming that they would continue to supply electricity.

Irish and European energy companies plan to spend heavily building offshore windfarms that will ultimately supply much of Ireland’s demand. However, these projects are not likely to begin operations until the second half of the decade.

Karen Trant, Director of Energy Networks with the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) wrote to Eirgrid, instructing it to prioritise grid connections for any successful bidders in the upcoming auction that will be supplying power to the greater Dublin area.