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Back to Press Releases 04 November 2022

Minister Ryan welcomes ESB’s €50m investment in Synchronous Compensator at Moneypoint

  • This is Phase One of ESB’s Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint project to turn the Co Clare site into a renewable energy hub 
  • Synchronous compensator will strengthen the stability and resilience of the Irish grid and support ever-more renewables coming on stream

    4 November 2022

    Today, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, welcomed ESB’s investment in a new €50 million synchronous compensator at Moneypoint Generating Station, Co Clare.

    This technology will enable higher volumes of renewables on the system and provide a range of electrical services to the electricity grid which would previously have been supplied by fossil fuel-fired generation.

    This investment is Phase One of Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint, ESB’s ambitious project to transform its Moneypoint site into a renewable energy hub, helping Ireland to become a leader in green energy production.

    The multi-billion-euro project will see a range of renewable technologies deployed over the next decade, including floating offshore wind and green hydrogen production and storage, that will have the capacity to power 1.6 million homes while representing significant investment in the Mid-West region.

    Siemens Energy Ltd. was awarded the contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of the synchronous compensator. Manufacturing of the main electrical and mechanical components took place in 2021 and the successful installation of the main equipment was completed earlier this year.

    The equipment has successfully synchronised to the electricity system and is in the final stages of grid-code testing. Once in full commercial operation, this will be the first synchronous compensator in Ireland and its flywheel will be the largest of its kind anywhere in the world.

    It will be capable of providing 4000MWs (mega-watt seconds) of inertia which is the equivalent of two existing Moneypoint units. This is critical to significantly increasing the amount of renewable generation, including onshore and offshore wind, connecting to our electricity networks while reducing the use of fossil fuel-fired generation.

    Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, said: “I am delighted to be here today to see first-hand the work that ESB is delivering to transform Moneypoint into a renewable energy hub. This location, and the latest technology that is being deployed here, such as the synchronous compensator, will play an important role by helping to provide a more stable supply of energy for the country as we continue our aim in Government of delivering the ambitious decarbonisation targets set out in the Climate Action Plan.”

    Jim Dollard, Executive Director, ESB Generation and Trading, said: “At ESB, we are committed to delivering new technologies that will transform our generation portfolio, at sites like Moneypoint, to a dispatchable and zero-carbon solution in order to meet Ireland’s need for non-intermittent sources of energy. The synchronous compensator, Phase One of Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint, will help us to do that by enabling more renewables on the system in line with our Net Zero by 2040 strategy.”

    Nick O’Mahony, Managing Director of Siemens Energy Ltd., said: “Siemens Energy are extremely proud to be the technology provider and project contractor for Ireland’s first synchronous compensator. Over the past 18 months we have worked with our customer ESB through pandemic and supply chain challenges to deliver this critical grid stabilising technology on time. We are especially delighted that Ireland has been the destination for the largest synchronous compensator flywheel ever installed. Siemens Energy is currently delivering many energy transition projects in Ireland and is committed to helping Ireland and ESB achieve its climate-related targets.”

    Due to the intermittency of wind energy, grid stabilisation technologies have an increasingly important role in a successful energy transition. The synchronous compensator will enable the system operator, EirGrid, to manage the transmission system safely and securely with a reduced dispatch of fossil fuel plant under constraints and reduced costs of transmission operations.

    The Moneypoint synchronous compensator with flywheel is a cost-effective and zero carbon solution – strengthening the stability and resilience of the Irish grid and supporting ever-more renewables coming on stream – in line with ESB’s Driven to Make a Difference: Net Zero by 2040 strategy.


    Notes to editor:

    About the Synchronous Compensator:

    Synchronous compensators are electrical devices that are used to manage the stability of the national grid including the relationship between voltage and current and the resilience of the system to sudden faults. Though a synchronous compensator does not generate electricity, it is essentially a large electric motor that is connected in a particular manner to allow it to act as a support to the system when required.  

    This allows the system operator, such as EirGrid in the Republic of Ireland, to manage the transmission system safely and securely with a reduced dispatch. As a result, this enables reduced carbon impact of transmission operations and reduced constraint costs.

    About Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint 

    Learn more about ESB’s Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint here.