Annual Report 2017

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The Powergen business develops and operates a portfolio of thermal and renewable assets, generating 1.2 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity which it sells to the wholesale market.

The business is a key driver of the Group strategy to transition to a sustainable future and, with almost 60% of electricity generated currently classed as carbon neutral, it plays a pivotal role in Bord na Móna becoming the leading generator of renewable energy on the island of Ireland.

Powergen’s current operating portfolio includes the Edenderry co-fired power plant, the Cushaling peaking plant, the Drehid landfill gas facility and wind farms in Mountlucas, Bruckana, Sliabh Bawn and Bellacorick. We are also in the process of developing the 172 Megawatt (MW) Oweninny wind farm in Co. Mayo through a partnership with ESB. The company’s growth in wind farms has been significant in the last year as we work together to reach our renewable portfolio target of 1 GW by 2030.

Employee insight.

Brian’s role has given him the opportunity to get involved in key sustainability initiatives.

Following the completion of my electrical apprenticeship in Bord na Móna, I went straight into a technician role in Powergen.

I am part of a multi-disciplinary Powergen Operations technical team based at Edenderry with operations and maintenance responsibility for a range of thermal generating assets.

Over the last few years, I really feel I’ve gained in both knowledge and experience. My role has given me the opportunity to get involved in key sustainability initiatives such as the high voltage electrical optimisation work and gas filtration projects at the landfill gas generation facility in Drehid.

I was also very lucky to be part of the team responsible for overseeing the installation and commissioning of the biomass infrastructure facility - which enables Edenderry power station to operate as a hybrid plant in the electricity market.

Shortly I’m due to start a course aimed at achieving a 3rd level technical qualification with a view to supporting a potential pathway to an engineering career at Bord na Móna.

Brian Kearney

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FY17 at a glance

Planning permission granted to continue operations at the Edenderry power plant untill 2023. (Edenderry’s co-firing rate reached 42%, which is 20% year on year increase in renewable electricity generated).

Acquired a 50% share in Electricity Exchange DAC, which focuses on the development of smart technology and the provision of flexible support services to the national grid.

We successfully completed and commissioned the Sliabh Bawn wind farm, following the acquisition of a 50% stake, in conjunction with our JV partner Coillte. The Mountlucas and Bruckana wind farms also continued to operate successfully during their second full year in operation.

Successfully granted planning permission for construction of a 70MW wind farm at Cloncreen, Co. Offaly.

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Transition to ISEM
Work is well underway as preparations begin to transition the business into the Integrated Single Electricity Market (ISEM) - due to commence in May 2018.

Current market prices have improved, compared to last year, but it is expected that there will be some reduction in capacity payments on commencement of the ISEM.

Powergen’s diverse generation fleet is achieving high availability levels and it hopes to benefit from enhanced Grid System Support revenues in the future - where intermittent wind generation is a large feature of the market.

The investment in Electricity Exchange DAC is particularly well positioned to benefit from this transition as the company is a leading provider of smart grid technology and services.

On-going public consultation
The business will continue to engage with local communities on major infrastructural energy projects through ongoing public consultation so it can address their concerns, as well as meet and manage their expectations. This form of engagement has proved to be a very positive step in ensuring a real and meaningful dialogue on major projects and one which, as responsible developers of energy infrastructure, it intends to continue.

Strengthening our portfolio
Developing Powergen’s portfolio of renewable generating assets is a key strategy for the business. And, whilst the business will continue to invest in projects based on wind and biomass, there are plans to move ahead with the development of large scale solar projects on Bord na Móna lands as part of our recently announced partnership with ESB.