Great Island CCGT – Proud to make a difference to the future of Ireland’s energy supply

As SSE’s Lead Director for Ireland, it’s with great pleasure that today we mark the official opening of the 464MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power plant at Great Island, Co. Wexford.

We are honoured to host An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD at the official opening of the station and celebrate what has been an exciting, and most importantly safe, three year project development journey.

In mid-April our new CCGT power plant successfully began commercially generating energy for export to Ireland’s Single Electricity Market, concluding more than two years of construction followed by months of commissioning.

During this period over 1,200 contractors were employed on-site, over €350m was directly invested and almost 3 million working hours were expended by the entire project team in the delivery of this world class asset.

The Great Island site has a long heritage in powering Ireland’s energy needs and SSE is proud to build on that. The old power station was first commissioned at Great Island almost 50 years ago in 1967.  The replacement of oil with gas improves the carbon intensity of our fleet, underpins SSE Airtricity’s heritage as a sustainable energy provider and marks another step in Ireland’s energy transition.  The old power station played a major role and I am confident that this new one can continue in its tradition and make a critical contribution to this country for many years into the future.

SSE’s core purpose is to provide the energy that our customers need in a reliable and sustainable way. Ultimately, investments such as Great Island CCGT are about customers, and this new station will provide greater value for all customers in the all-island Single Electricity Market whilst improving the security and sustainability of electricity supply.

As always with SSE, our commitment is to never compromise on safety. During construction there were no reportable injuries and just one lost time injury (a finger injury). The incident rate last year was 0.21, well below Irish and European rates for construction sites. This achievement is testament to the contribution of everyone involved in the construction of Great Island.

The new power plant has now been formally handed over to SSE’s CCGT Station Manager, Padraig Dunleavy and his team of over 40 staff to operate the new plant.  Again, most of the staff have been recruited by SSE from Wexford and surrounding counties.  I am sure that you will join with me in wishing them success and safety in the months and years ahead.

Overall, SSE now owns and operates over 1,800MW of generation capacity on the island of Ireland, of which over 540MW is wind power and the addition of the Great Island CCGT, means that we have a portfolio diverse in terms of technology and fuel type, with added flexibility and efficiency. 

About the author

Gregor Alexander Business Lead, SSE Ireland

Gregor was appointed Finance Director in 2002, having previously been Group Treasurer and Tax Manager. He has worked in the energy industry since 1990, when he joined Scottish Hydro Electric. He has Board-level responsibility for Procurement and Logistics, Risk and Assurance, Investor Relations, Corporate Business Services, Finance and IT. He is Chairman of SGN, in which SSE has a 50% stake, and is a non-Executive Director of Stagecoach Group plc.

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