BGE reignites €100m elec­tric­ity plant plan

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - Fearghal O’con­nor

BORD Gais En­ergy (BGE) has reignited a €100m plan for a se­ries of elec­tric­ity projects across Ire­land.

The Greener Ideas part­ner­ship — a joint ven­ture be­tween the for­mer State com­pany and en­ergy en­tre­pre­neur Brian Keogh’s Mountside Part­ners — is seek­ing per­mis­sion to build a 100MW com­bined cy­cle gas tur­bine (CCGT) elec­tric­ity plant at Monksland, in Athlone, Co Roscom­mon.

It has scrapped pre­vi­ous plans drawn up in 2009 for two fur­ther CCGT plants at sites in Kilkenny city and near Cahir, Co Tip­per­ary. In­stead, it is seek­ing plan­ning per­mis­sion to build two 100MW bat­tery stor­age fa­cil­i­ties at these sites.

The change of plan likely re­flects huge growth in re­new­able en­ergy over the past decade, and the abil­ity for stor­age tech­nol­ogy to al­low fur­ther re­new­able power to be added to the grid in the fu- ture, said an in­dus­try source.

Greener Ideas — and oth­ers — have sought per­mis­sion to build bat­tery stor­age fa­cil­i­ties in an­tic­i­pa­tion of na­tional grid op­er­a­tor Eir­grid run­ning a spe­cial auc­tion to bring stor­age tech­nol­ogy on to the grid. Eir­grid may opt for much smaller amounts of the new tech­nol­ogy in the short-term and this will de­ter­mine the out­come of such pro­pos­als.

In 2008, Mountside — which also owns 20pc of the 400MW Ty­nagh En­ergy plant in Gal­way — with­drew an ear­lier ap­pli­ca­tion for a sim­i­lar 100MW open cy­cle gas tur­bine power sta­tion near Clare­mor­ris, Co Mayo. It was re­ported at the time that all four power sta­tions would have seen to­tal in­vest­ment of €300m, but the new plans will likely have a sub­stan­tially lower price tag and an in­dus­try source said the plan was likely still at “an em­bry­onic phase”, de­spite the fact that the part­ner­ship is a decade old.

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