ESB lodges plans for €500m emergency Dublin power plant

Gas-fired power station to be located in Ringsend

ESB has lodged plans with Dublin City Council for a €500 million emergency 299MW gas-fired power station beside the Dublin Bay Power Plant at Ringsend as part of a Government-backed effort to avoid energy blackouts in the capital.

In planning documentation lodged with the council, a planning consultant for ESB Engineering and Major Projects, Mott McDonald, observes that the Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) proposal “will assist in addressing and mitigating risk to power disruption”.

The consultant said the development, to be powered by natural gas, would also provide “additional generating capacity during periods of high demand” and would “ensure that supply in uninterrupted”.

The proposal “is to provide additional generating capacity during periods of high demand or when weather conditions mean that renewable energy sources cannot meet demand”, the documents say.


Underlining the strategic importance of the planning application, Mott McDonald said the OCGT plant was “an important economic and social infrastructure project... and will ensure the energy supply is reliable”.

The consultant added that “the proposed development will provide strategic support to the existing electricity system in the region and the wider grid, and would assist in enduring and maintaining the security of electricity support on to the grid, particularly in areas of high demand, like the Dublin city area and greater Dublin metropolitan region”.

The scheme will facilitate greater supply of renewable energy and provide “a fast-acting backup reserve to the system operator during difficult operational periods”, according to the documents.

The need for the development was identified by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) in a September 2021 information paper entitled Security of Supply – Programme of Actions.

The planning documentation states that “gas-fired generation is a national priority” and the proposed development is consistent with that.

The national grid connection for the proposal is to be subject to a separate planning application. A council decision is due on the ESB plan in March.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times