The operator of the national grid, Eirgrid, is currently seeking bis from electricity supply firms for the construction of new power plants in order to stave off the potential for a shortage of energy and power outages in the coming years.
Eirgird see these new power plants being required to come on line buy the end of 2024 or early 20205 in order to meet electricity generation requirements in the long term. This is seen as a very tight deadline by those in the industry given the likelihood of proposals to meet planning objections.
Eirgrid will appoint its chosen firms at a ‘capacity’ auction to be held next January. At this stage it is not known how many firms will be selected or how much electricity these new power plants will need to supply.
Government, regulators and industry fear that growing electricity demand in the Dublin area, mainly from data centres will leave it vulnerable to power cuts if new suppliers do not begin providing power there. A report published by Eirgrid last year shows that data centres and other large energy users will consume 27 per cent of all electricity generated in the Republic by 2030.
These new power plants will likely be flexible gas fired generators which can be switched on or off quickly in order to meet demand and are typically smaller than the ‘baseload’ gas plants that are designed to provide power on a more consistent basis.