SSE Thermal is exploring options to develop two new low-carbon power stations in Ireland which would help to protect security of supply and provide flexible backup to renewable generation.
Sites in Tarbert in County Kerry and at Platin in County Meath, could provide the location for these new power stations, which would initially run on sustainable biofuel with the potential to convert to hydrogen in the future.
Biofuel provides a lower carbon option for use in power stations, using waste feedstocks to produce valuable flexible electricity making it an important transitionary solution as plans for a greater use of hydrogen and carbon capture are developed. The proposed units will run on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), which is produced by processing waste oils to create a fossil-free alternative to diesel in accordance with EU sustainability standards.
Development at the two sites could provide up to 450MW of new generation capacity to the grid, with up to 300MW at Tarbert and 150MW at Platin. While in early development and still subject to a final investment decision, these new power stations could be operational as early as 2027, bringing with them the potential to underpin demand for low-carbon hydrogen in Ireland.
Catherine Raw, managing director of SSE Thermal, said: “Each would help to address concerns around energy security while providing a clear bridge to a hydrogen future and backing up renewables when the wind doesn’t blow, and the sun doesn’t shine. We look forward to engaging with the local communities around each site as we develop these exciting projects further.
“SSE recognises the unique heritage of Tarbert and with this proposal aims to keep power flowing from Tarbert Island for this and future generations. Just as Tarbert supported Ireland’s electrification in the 1960s, it can now lead the way in the next generation of critical technologies for today’s challenges.”
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