When it was built in 1955, Ringsend station was the largest in the Irish Electricity network. It was developed in two stages, Ringsend “A” of 90,000 kW capacity, commissioned in 1955-56 and Ringsend “B” of 180,000 kW capacity, commissioned in 1965-56:

  • RINGSEND Acomprised four Babcock and Willcox 200,000 lb./hr. boilers delivering steam at 625 p.s.i.g. 865/F to a receiver for distribution to three Parsons 30 mW turbo-generators. The boilers were specially designed for running on either pulverised coal or fuel oil, depending on the current world fuel prices.
  • RINGSEND B comprised three units, each having a VKW boiler delivering 550,000 lbs./hr. of steam at 1,175 p.s.i.g. 960°F to a 60,000 kW turbine. Two of the turbines were Siemens impulse reaction type and the third machine is a Parsons impulse reaction turbine. Fuel oil was fed to 9 pressure atomising burners at 600 p.s.i. 250°F. These boilers were designed to operate on fuel oil only.

At its peak, its coal and oil storages were 30,000 tons and 82,000 tons respectively, giving 10-15 weeks capacity at normal demand. Coal supplies were shipped in from England but Irish coal from Arigna and Castlecomer were used to a significant extent.Fuel oil supplies came from various sources, such as the Middle East, Whitegate Oil Refinery and Libya. The tankers berthed at the wharf at the station and pumped directly into the storage tanks.

It was decommissioned in 1988

West Offaly Power, Shannonbridge, Co Offaly

West Offaly Power was a milled peat power station located on the banks of the River Shannon at Shannonbridge, Co Offaly. Built as a replacement for the ageing 125 MW Shannonbridge power station, the new plant housed a single boiler/turbine unit with an electrical output of 135 MW.

The station had a 15-year contract to burn peat supplied by Bord Na Móna and closed in 2020.

The official opening of the station took place on 8th July, 2005. C

It was one of the largest purpose-built peat-fired stations in the world, constructed in line with the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive.

The station used modern fluidised bed technology to burn peat in an environmentally-friendly and efficient way. Over 37% of the primary energy supplied from the fuel was converted to electricity and supplied to the grid.

Lough Ree Power

Lough Ree Power was a milled-peat burning station located on the bank of the River Shannon, next to the village of Lanesborough. Commissioned in 2004 the 100 MW-generating station replaced the nearby ageing 85 MW Lanesborough Power Station.

The station was officially opened by the Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen on Thursday, 21st April 2005.

Lough Ree Power had a 15-year contract to burn peat supplied by Bord Na Móna and closed at the end of 2020.


The ESB Generating Station at Tarbert in County Kerry was officially opened on 19 June 1970 by Taoiseach Jack Lynch, at the time, the 27th generating station on the ESB system. Construction of the first phase of the Tarbert Generating Station commenced in October 1966 and the first 60MW unit went into service in September 1969. The second 60MW unit was commissioned in December 1969.

The second development phase comprised two 250MW units. The first of these was commissioned in April 1976 and the second in April 1977. During the 1980s, the station had a total installed capacity of 620MW capable of producing 3,500 million units of electricity a year, and was the largest station on the ESB’s system. The total capital investment in the project was £55 million, and over 500 people were employed at the peak of its construction.

Tarbert was the first oil-fired station built by ESB on the Shannon or its estuary. The other stations on the Shannon are ArignaLanesboroughShannonbridge and Ardnacrusha. Tarbert was designed to utilise a heavy residual fuel oil which is an oil refinery by-product. Oil was delivered to the station’s 300 ft jetty and pumped at almost 500,000 gallons per hour into the storage tanks which had a capacity of 18 million gallons. This storage capacity is sufficient to maintain full station output for about 14 weeks.

The station generated electricity at 10,000 volts, but this was ‘stepped up’ in the station’s own transformers to 110,000 volts before being delivered into the national network. This is done, because it is more economical to transmit power over long dis­tances at high, rather than low voltages.

The station was sold in 2009 to Endesa, and remains operational on its original site.

Pigeon House

Pigeon House was built in the late eighteenth century. It was named after its owner, Mr Pigeon, and was originally used as a hotel.

The foundation stone of Pigeon House Generating Station was laid by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, TC Harrington, on 10 February 1902, and it first produced electricity in July 1903, at a capacity of 3MW. The station was run by the Dublin Corporation Lighting Committee, until it was acquired by ESB in 1929. The station was redeveloped as the twentieth century progressed, until it eventually reached a generation capacity of 90MW.

In 1965, ESB built a new generating station on the site beside Pigeon House, known today as Poolbeg station, named after the Poolbeg lighthouse situated at the entrance to the Dublin port. Pigeon House was later decommissioned in 1976.

The City of Dublin Electricity Works founded Pigeon House Power Station in 1903 and the site supplied most of Dublin’s electricity until the 1950s. It was retired in 1976.

A new Poolbeg Station was built beside the old Pigeon House station and began producing electricity in 1971. The first two 120MW sets were originally oil-fired – the first set were commissioned in August 1971 and the second set commissioned in December 1971. There was just the one chimney.

The second chimney came later when a new 270MW set was added in November 1978.
Boilers 2 and 3 were converted to gas incrementally, with both fully commissioned in May 1984. The conversion of boiler 1 to gas was completed by July 1984, and the three sets were fully synchronised in March 1985, at a combined capacity of 510MW.

​More recently, in 2000, ESB upgraded Poolbeg to use combined gas cycle technology (CCGT). At the time, this brought the CCGT unit thermal efficiency to 52% and overall output to 480 MW. The CCGT technology includes: two Siemens V94.2 gas turbines, two Siemens/Austrian Energy Heat Recover Steam Generators (boilers) and one Siemens steam turbine. Siemens electrical generators are fitted to each of the two gas turbines and steam turbine.

​Finally, on 31 March 2010, ESB retired Poolbeg Units 1, 2 and 3, leaving the station’s output at 480MW MW from the CCGT unit.

Turlough Hill

Ireland’s only pumped storage power station, located in the scenic Wicklow Mountains, was brought into commercial operation in 1974. This innovative and environmentally-friendly project was the largest civil engineering operation ever undertaken in the country when construction began in 1968.

The station generates up to 292MW during peak demand periods and can go from standstill to full capacity in 70 seconds. It does this by releasing water from the upper reservoir and allowing it to flow through four turbines into the lower reservoir. During periods of lower demand, water is pumped back to the upper reservoir, ready to be used again. This helps flatten the ‘demand curve’ for electricity over any given 24-hour period and so is invaluable to the ESB grid.

In 2004, Turlough Hill became the Hydro Control Centre (HCC) for the entire ESB hydro fleet which contains 19 generators in total.


Aghada was built close to the entrance of Cork Harbour in order to use gas discovered in the nearby Kinsale Gas Field. The station started operating in 1980 and has grown over the years to feature three different types of technology:

  • 1 x 270MW Alstrom gas-fired conventional steam turbine (1980)
  • 3 x 90MW Alstrom Frame 9B, dual fuel open cycle gas turbines (1980s)
  • 1 x 435 MW Alstrom single shaft combined cycle gas turbine (2010)

Taking 30 months to build, the latest combined cycle gas turbine plant is one of the most efficient and cleanest plants in Europe, capable of generating enough electricity to supply approximately 8% of power demand in the Single Electricity Market (Island of Ireland).

With its combination of three types of generating technologies (open cycle gas turbines, steam turbine and combined cycle gas turbine) Aghada is extremely flexible and important to ESB’s generation portfolio.


Moneypoint is one of Ireland’s largest generating stations. It utilises three Brown Boveri Turbines, each with a capacity of 305 MW, leading to a total capacity of 915 MW – around 7 million MW hours/year.

Coal is the primary fuel; however, Moneypoint also has two Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) storage tanks with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes. We use HFO as a back-up fuel if needed.

At full output, the station consumes approximately 7,000 tonnes of coal per day – around two million tonnes a year. We have developed extensive coal-handling facilities on site, including a deep-water jetty capable of accepting vessels of up to 250,000 dead weight tonnes and a 600,000 tonne coal storage area. (A typical coal shipment is around 140,000 tonnes.)

In 2020, ESB announced the redevelopment of the site into a energy renewable hub.

ESB opens its first wind farm at Crockahenny, Co Donegal in 1998. The wind farm has a combined capacity of 5 MW – enough green energy to meet the electricity needs of around 3,000 homes. ESB has since developed a portfolio of renewable assets, complemented by acquisitions and partnerships. ESB now has the capacity to supply 1GW of clean energy to the homes, farms, hospitals, schools, and businesses throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom.

ESB International (ESBI)

Aa leading global engineering consultancy specialising in the utility sector, establishes in 1975. ESB International focuses on the delivery of large scale, capital infrastructure projects for international clients and for its parent company, ESB.

Since its establishment, ESB International has completed projects in more than 120 countries. Our world-class team helps clients around the world to deliver modern, efficient and dependable energy systems which can transform the economies and societies that they serve in.

ESB enters the UK market in 1992 with the development of one of the first independent power plants at Corby, Northamptonshire. Since then, ESB has significantly grown its presence across the UK with the diversification into retail (via SO Energy) and roll out of charging infrastructure (ESB Energy). ESB is also developing a number of onshore and offshore projects in Scotland.

ESB concludes the acquisition of Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) Networks business in 2010. NIE Networks owns the regulated electricity transmission and distribution network in Northern Ireland. It is responsible for the planning, development, construction and maintenance of the entire network in the region, as well as the operation of the distribution network. This transmission and distribution network comprises approximately 2,100 km of the high voltage transmission system and approximately 42,900 km of the low voltage distribution system.

The ESB Electronic Communications Networks Act, 2013 enables the ESB to engage and installing and operating electronic communications network and providing electronic communications service.  It may do it by itself or in conjunction with another entity.

The definition of electric line is extended to include infrastructure associated with electric lines for the purpose of carrying electronic communications services.

The ESB may provide access to its electricity infrastructure to another company for the purpose of developing electronic communications network and services or it may facilitate such development.

Electric lines under Acta including the ESB Acts, 1927 to 2013 and the Electricity Regulation Act is unified so as to extend to include electric lines for the purpose of carrying electronic communications service.

The existing Electricity Supply Acts provisions in relation to statutory wayleave powers across private land are extended. Access to infrastructure may be granted to other companies.  The powers are subject to the consent of the Commission for Energy Regulation.

The powers to fix wires to walls, house and buildings are not applied to electronic communication networks and accordingly are inapplicable to this business.

ESB establishes ecars in 2010 to roll out the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) and to support the introduction and demand for EVs nationally. Critical to the take up of electric vehicles is the provision of conveniently positioned charge points across the island of Ireland. There are currently 1,300 public charge points across the island of Ireland with the roll out of fast chargers and superhubs to facilitate the increasing uptake of EVs.

Electric Ireland is the retail arm of ESB and operates in all market segments in the Republic of Ireland. Electric Ireland also supplies energy and services to business and residential customers in Northern Ireland. Electric Ireland is now recognised as a leading retail brand by Irish consumers and businesses.


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