Moneypoint Power Station
Yes. Prior to 2021, electricity generation from Moneypoint had reduced significantly, requiring only small quantities of coal in those years.However, in 2021, a combination of factors saw an increase in electricity generation from Moneypoint to meet demand on the Irish electricity system, resulting in over one million tons of coal being burned over that year. We have seen that trend continue into the early part of 2022.
The site at Moneypoint occupies an important location on the electricity system and will continue to play a role in Ireland’s future low-carbon energy system.
In April 2021, ESB announced its ambitious plan to transform our Moneypoint site into a renewable energy hub - Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint. See more information here.
ESB has long signalled its intent to cease burning coal at Moneypoint. This is part of our broader Net Zero strategy where we are committed to significantly increase electricity generated across Ireland from renewable or zero-carbon sources.
Moneypoint is the largest energy store on the Island of Ireland with a capacity to store sufficient fuel for three months of running, compared with standard gas generating stations which hold just five days of energy storage. This fuel storage capacity and the inherent fuel diversity would enable the system to cope with medium and long-term gas disruptions on the system.
Over the last seven years, we have bought coal from Colombia, Russia and the USA. All coal purchased from the Colombian and Russian mines have been assessed by Bettercoal (See more on ESB and Sourcing of Coal page here). The American mine is in the process of engaging with Bettercoal.
Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) is a compound that is used globally in High Voltage switchgear. Manufacturers design switchgear with this gas because of its very high electrical insulating properties, allowing the switchgear to work efficiently and safely. As part of ESB Networks development programme that cost in excess of €100m, the original switchgear at the Moneypoint Transmission Station was de-energised in June 2019 and replaced with new equipment which uses far smaller quantities of SF6, to reduce the risk of leaks.