ESB opens €820m Carrington Power Station in Manchester

  • 884MW station powers more than one million homes and creates 40 permanent jobs
  • Plant’s efficiency and flexibility complements increasing levels of renewables, supporting the transition to a low carbon future
  • New plant builds on ESB’s 25 year record of successful investments in the UK

13th March 2017

ESB has officially opened its new 884MW gas fired power station at Carrington near Manchester. The €820m development is providing 40 permanent jobs on site and is powering more than one million homes and businesses in the Greater Manchester area.

Following three years of construction, the plant became fully operational in September 2016. Carrington Power Station is one of the most efficient thermal plants in the UK at 58 per cent efficiency and generates four times more electricity than the coal plant formerly located on the site. Carrington is the first new large scale high efficiency gas plant to come onto the British electricity grid since 2013.

As well as providing 884MW of reliable base load electricity, Carrington Power Station will be one of the most flexible plants providing fast back-up when it is needed most to intermittent wind and solar generation.

Speaking at the opening of the station, Ellvena Graham, Chairman of ESB, said: "Carrington Power Station is a significant expansion in ESB’s operations in Great Britain and builds on our 25 year record of successful investments in the UK. Producing enough electricity to power over one million homes and businesses, this new power station comes into operation at a time when efficient, reliable and flexible power plants such as Carrington are increasingly needed to ensure security of electricity supplies into the future."

Officiating at today’s ceremony, Jesse Norman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Energy and Industry welcomed the commencement of operations:

"This welcome investment by ESB in Carrington is already delivering secure electricity to over a million homes and businesses. New power stations like this complement low carbon wind and solar renewable energy by providing reliable electricity all year round, whatever the weather or time of day. And this investment has created skilled jobs for the area as well."

ESB is a leading independent power generator in the UK. Its portfolio consists of 4,827MW of thermal and renewable generation assets in operation across the Ireland and Great Britain. In addition to Carrington, ESB operates a 350MW gas generation plant in Corby and operates three onshore wind farms at Fullabrook (66MW), Mynydd y Betws (37.5MW) and West Durham (24MW).

Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, said: "The official opening of the Carrington power station is a great day for ESB. It marks the successful delivery of a major project from our initial plans almost ten years ago through construction and to full commercial operation. Carrington is a key part of ESB’s overall strategy to maintain and grow a generation business of scale in today's highly competitive market."

ESB is currently constructing a £190million, 40MW waste wood biomass plant at Tilbury in Essex in partnership with the Green Investment Bank which will commence operations later this year. It also has plans for a 1,650MW gas fired power station at Knottingley in West Yorkshire and is pursuing a number of waste to energy developments.

The Carrington project at a glance:

  • 884MW high efficiency combined cycle gas plant
  • More than one million homes and businesses in the Greater Manchester area powered by the plant
  • 4.8 million hours worked on the project
  • 4,893 workers from planning to commissioning
  • 850 workers on site during peak construction times
  • 35,000 cubic metres of concrete poured
  • More than 50 exceptional heavy/wide construction load deliveries removed from local roads by using Manchester Ship Canal


For Further Information please contact:

Kieran O'Neill, ESB Media Relations Manager, Mobile: 00-353-87-9349200

Photographs from the event can be access here -- 

YouTube Videos of Carrington:

Notes to editors:

About Carrington Power Station

Carrington Power Station sits on the banks of the River Mersey and generates about four times more electricity than the former coal plant on the site. As well as providing 884MW of reliable baseload electricity, Carrington Power Station is one of the most flexible plants providing fast back-up to intermittent wind and solar generation when it is needed most.

Carrington Power Station is one of the most efficient combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant on the system with a thermal efficiency of 58%.

About ESB

ESB is Ireland’s foremost energy company and the largest supplier of renewable electricity. Through innovation, expertise and investment, ESB is leading the way in developing a modern, efficient electricity system, capable of delivering sustainable and competitive energy supplies to our customers. Every day, ESB works for a better energy future by investing in low-carbon generating technologies in Ireland and Great Britain, building smarter electricity networks in Ireland and working with others to find innovative solutions to today’s energy challenges.