Great Island

stations_great island_exterior

County: Wexford
Fuel type: Oil
Capacity: 240MW
Status: Active
Commissioned: 1967
Sold: in 2009 to Endesa

Great Island Generating Station was opened in 1967. It is located on a 168 acre site in County Wexford, on the shores of Waterford Harbour, at the confluence of the River Barrow and Suir. Construction of station got underway in 1963, and the first and second 60 MW units were commissioned in December 1967 and April 1968 respectively. In 1972 a further single unit of 120 MW was installed. By this time, Great Island station supplied 20% of Ireland’s electricity.

Control room at Great Island station, 1990s

Control room at Great Island station, 1990s

In the mid 1980s, following the commissioning of ESB’s large coal fired station at Moneypoint, the first two units were taken out of service. In 1990, due to the increased demand for electricity, these units were refurbished at a cost of £11 million. In 1993, the third 120 MW unit was refurbished at a cost of £9 million.

Great Island is an oil fired station, the first to be built outside the urban centres of Dublin and Cork. Fuel oil is delivered by sea tanker to the station’s jetty and is pumped to one of five storage tanks overlooking the station. Each storage tank has a capacity of 17,000 tonnes. The oil is heated to 135°C before being pumped to the burners in each boiler. There are nine burners on each 60 MW boiler and 12 burners on the 120 MW boiler. When operating at full output, Great Island station burned approximately 1,500 tonnes of oil per day. Under ESB, the station produced electricity at 10,000 volts, before being ‘stepped up’ by transformer to 110,000 volts for transmission on the national grid.

Staff at Great Island station, 1980s

Staff at Great Island station, 1980s

Great Island was the first ESB station to adopt an effluent treatment system for boiler and air heater washes. Water discharged from the plant is also treated in a neutralising and settling tank, before being discharged safely back into the environment. Licensed disposal companies dispose of solid waste matter. A Great Island Environmental Management Group was established to apply for maximum environmental accreditation and to increase staff awareness of the crucial importance placed on the care and protection of the environment. The overall strategy is to ensure that environmental protection is ranked alongside other key goals such as safety and efficiency.

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

Click the images below for more information relating to the operation of Great Island station under ESB. Great Island

Great Island power Station from the book “A Heritage Inventory of ESB Buildings in Ireland”


Great Island_1970s

Great Island PR Pamphlet, 1970s

Great Island PR Pamphlet, 1990s

Great Island PR Pamphlet, 1990s

Great Island_1980s

Great Island PR Pamphlet, 1980s


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