THE ESB has awarded the contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of the new €50m Synchronous Compensator in Moneypoint Power Station to Siemens Energy Limited following a competitive tender process.
Awarding this contract is seen as the first phase in the ESB’s plans to transform Moneypoint into a new green energy hub, which includes the proposed development of a new windfarm 16 km off the Clare coast.
The Synchronous Compensator, which will be the largest of its kind in the world, will provide a range of electrical services to the electricity grid, which would previously have been supplied by thermal fired power stations. It will enable higher volumes of renewables on the system.
Responding to Clare Champion queries, the ESB stated Siemens is commencing engagement with contractors in the region to carry out the construction and delivery of the project and work on site will commence soon afterwards.
It is estimated these projects require up to 100 personnel during the construction lifecycle. The target commercial operation date for the project is September 2022.
Last July, Clare County Council granted planning permission to the ESB to develop a 400 MVA Synchronous Compensator, which shares the existing 400 KV/17 kv transformer and 400 kv underground cable belonging to the existing coal fired Unit Two at Moneypoint subject to seven planning conditions.
Planning permission was sought for a duration of ten years and this application represented a relocation within Moneypoint of a similar application permitted by the local authority in 2019.
Moneypoint station manager, Sean Hegarty has stated the Synchronous Compensator has been in the pipeline for two to three years.
He confirmed a decision was taken to move the Synchronous Compensator to a new site, which resulted in a second planning application about a year ago.
The current site is more suitable as it will be able to utilise the adjacent generator step-up T4002 transformer, rather than needing to install a new transformer and it will be able to use the existing underground cable connection from T4002 to the 400 KV substation.
Mr Hegarty said the new compensator will help the plant provide grid stability without burning any fossil fuel and doesn’t produce any carbon emissions.
According to planning documents submitted to the local planning authority, there is no combustion associated with the condenser and no emissions or fuel requirements.
The documents stated there is no potential for the project in culmination with other planned or approved projects to result in negative effects on the environment.
It will occupy 0.4 hectares within Moneypoint’s boundary.
It will also address the ongoing transmission constraint in the Moneypoint region, which the condenser will resolve more economically and without the emissions of existing thermal generation.
By Dan Danaher