SSE Renewables, Ireland’s largest renewable energy developer, is currently constructing Great Island natural gas Combined Cycle Gas Turbine plant which will deliver an economic power boost to the South East.
The €331m project will become operational in late 2014 and will significantly decarbonise electricity generation in Ireland. The modern and efficient 460MW gas-fired power plant will be Ireland’s cleanest and most efficient power station and will replace the existing 240MW fuel oil unit at the site, significantly decarbonising electricity generation in the all-island Single Electricity Market.
The project is making an important economic contribution, nationally and locally. Peter Gavican, SSE’s Project Manager for the Great Island CCGT Project, said:
“Through indirect investment SSE is significantly supporting local services and businesses during the project construction phase. This is in addition to the ongoing support of the local business community from the existing operational power plant.
“Workers are on site daily and employed on the construction of the new CCGT plant at Great Island, around 70% of whom live locally in Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny. In addition to the major economic stimulus and local direct jobs, SSE’s investment is making an important contribution to businesses such as hotels, Beds & Breakfasts, restaurants and shops in the region.”
Around 70% of the 860-strong construction workforce is local to Co Wexford and neighbouring counties Waterford and Kilkenny. A further 50 full time employees are working on the commissioning of the new Great Island gas fired power plant, at the existing 240MW heavy fuel oil power station and at SSE’s 27MW Richfield Wind Farm at Bridgetown, Co. Wexford.
Work is progressing well so far with the installation and commissioning of the 460MW Mitsubishi Heavy Industries gas powertrain being completed, as well as the gas and electricity grid connections to the site being underway. 43 million Euros has been invested in completing a 41km industrial-grade gas pipeline from Bawnlusk, Co. Kilkenny.
The pipeline has been developed in partnership with state-owned Gaslink and Bord Gais Networks, this strategic asset is bringing gas for the first time to this part of the South East. In addition to supplying the power station, it has the capacity to attract future industrial development to Co. Wexford.
Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, said:
“SSE’s investment in Ireland’s newest gas fired power station, here in Co Wexford, is ensuring clean, competitive and secure energy to power our continued economic recovery. When commissioned, it will add another plant into the mix for the all island competitive market and further add to competition.
“I also hope that this plant and the new gas pipeline that SSE has completed in partnership with Gaslink and Bord Gais Networks, will be a key enabler to attracting further new employment to the South East.”
The Great Island CCGT is one of the largest infrastructural projects currently under construction on the island of Ireland and is the single largest capital project in power generation that SSE is currently developing in either the UK or Ireland. Upon completion next year, the project will generate enough electricity to power around half a million homes and will significantly decarbonise electricity generation in Ireland.
Since SSE entered the Irish energy market in 2008, they have invested €2billion into Ireland’s energy making them, not only Ireland’s number one energy investor, but also one of the largest single investors in the Irish economy. They have invested the equivalent to just over €1m every day for the last five years.