Fuel type: Milled peat
Rhode station was situated in the Midlands, about eighteen miles outside Tullamore, Co Offaly. It was constructed as part of the peat development programme in the 1960s, and was considered to be the most efficient of Ireland’s five peat generating stations.
Construction work at Rhode began in earnest in 1958, at a time when the Government placed a strong emphasis on the development of the country’s native resources. At the same time, demands for industry were beginning to grow as the country finally began to emerge from a lengthy and crippling economic slowdown. As a result of the Rural Electrification Scheme, many parts of Ireland were beginning to benefit from easier access to electricity. Rhode was part of a new generation of power stations, using milled peat as opposed to sod peat. The station was built on a 70 acre site, chosen for its proximity to both a large supply of peat, and a good source of water from the Yellow River.
The station comprised of two 190,000 pounds of steam per hour boilers, driving two 20MW turbo-alternator units, commissioned in 1960. A boiler with an output of 380,000 pounds of steam per hour and a 40MW turbo-alternator set were further commissioned in 1963. In the middle of 1963, for a period of one week, Rhode had the biggest unit producing on the national grid. By March 1968, one fifth of Ireland’s electricity was being generated by Offaly’s power plants.
At its peak in the 1980s and 1990s, the station burned 450,000 tonnes of peat annually, to generate 300 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.
Rhode station was decommissioned in 2003 and demolished in 2004.
Click the images below for more information relating to the operation of Rhode station.