Poolbeg Generating Station

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Poolbeg Generating Station
Poolbeg Power Station at Ringsend
Official nameCumhachtstáisiún an Phoill Bhig  (Irish)
Coordinates53°20′23″N 6°11′23″W / 53.3396047°N 6.189821°W / 53.3396047; -6.189821Coordinates: 53°20′23″N 6°11′23″W / 53.3396047°N 6.189821°W / 53.3396047; -6.189821
Construction began1965
Decommission date2010
Construction cost60 million Irish pounds
Operator(s)Electricity Supply Board (ESB)
Combined cycle?Yes
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

Poolbeg Generating Station (Irish: Cumhachtstáisiún an Phoill Bhig), colloquially known as The Poolbeg Stacks, is a power station owned and operated by the Electricity Supply Board of Ireland (ESB). There are two stations on the site, the older thermal station containing units 1, 2, and 3 and the combined cycle gas station containing units CG14, CG15 and ST16, which is located toward the eastern end of the site. The six units have a total installed capacity of 1020 MW.

The plant is located on the Poolbeg peninsula in Ringsend, Dublin, on the south bank of Dublin Port. Its two chimneys, at just over 207 metres, are visible over much of Dublin, particularly Sandymount Strand, making them well-known landmarks and some of the tallest structures in Ireland.


Old Pigeon House Hotel and Generating Station
Poolbeg Thermal Station (from the west side) in 2006

Poolbeg is situated adjacent to the now-decommissioned Pigeon House generating station, where electricity was first generated in 1903 also with the distinction of being the first in the world to generate three phase power. The Pigeon House was previously a military barracks and hotel and the officers accommodation building was acquired by Dublin corporation in 1897.[1] It was used for power generation until it was decommissioned in 1976, and the Poolbeg plant is still known locally as the Pigeon House.

The modern Poolbeg station was constructed in two separate phases, beginning in the 1960s. The ESB decided to construct the station in 1965 and the initial development was completed in 1971 with the construction of Units 1 and 2 at a cost of 20 million Irish pounds. The original Pigeon House generators remained on standby duty until 1976. Unit 3 was completed in 1978 at a cost of 40 million pounds.

The combined cycle station was constructed in the 1990s. CG14 was commissioned in 1994, CG15 in 1998 and ST16 in 2001.

Technical details[edit]

The identical units 1 and 2 have a design output of 120 MW each. They both have turbo-alternators manufactured by Brown Boveri and 'drum type' boilers by Fives Penhoet, France.

Unit 3 has a design output of 271 MW. It uses a turbo-alternator manufactured by Alstom, France and a 'once through' type Boiler by M.A.N Germany.

Uniquely among power stations run by the Electricity Supply Board, all three units in the thermal plant can currently fire on oil or gas. Gas is supplied to the site by the Bord Gáis network. Oil is stored in five tank in the site's oil farm, with a maximum capacity of 140,000 tonnes.

The CCGT plant has two Siemens V94.2A gas turbines (units CG14 and CG15), a HRSG and a steam turbine (ST16).

When it opens in 2017, the adjacent Dublin Waste-to-Energy facility will supply the power plant with steam.

Partial closure[edit]

In 2006, the ESB advised of its intention to withdraw approximately 1,300 MW of total Irish electricity capacity over the next five years. This effectively reduced the installed capacity of fully dispatchable electricity generation in the country from 6,437 MW to 5,150 MW by the end of 2010. This 1300 MW closure, was aimed at the older inefficient power stations in Ireland, the 60% average generation availability between 2002 and 2005 that was produced by the 3 thermal units, units which amount to 461 MW of combined electricity capacity at Poolbeg Generating Station Dublin were to close, while the newer 460 MW combined cycle fossil gas turbine at Poolbeg would remain operational.[2][3]

Poolbeg Chimneys[edit]

Poolbeg generating station after being closed down

The thermal station chimneys are among the tallest structures in Ireland and are visible from most of Dublin city. Number 1 chimney is 207.48m (680 ft 9in) high. Number 2 chimney is 207.8m (681 ft 9in) high. The chimneys are featured prominently in the video for the song "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" by U2. Dublin City Councillor and historian Dermot Lacey began a process to list the chimneys for preservation to safeguard their future after the Station was to close in 2010.[4][5] This was later refused by the Council Planning Department.

In operation, 1994.

They were subsequently listed as protected structures in July 2014.[6]

In 2016, one of the flue-gas stacks of Poolbeg power station was climbed by a 17 year old Danish youth called Oliver whilst on a trip to Ireland.[7][8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "HOLYHEAD SERVICES 1561-2011" (PDF). btpf.org. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  2. ^ http://www.finfacts.com/irelandbusinessnews/publish/article_1010398.shtml Poolbeg Thermal (461MW) (Dublin) (Oil / Gas). Poolbeg comprises two separate plants: the three thermal units (461MW) and the combined cycle gas plant (460MW) which opened in 2000 will remain in operation
  3. ^ Independent TSO EirGrid Generation Adequacy Report 2007-2013 (PDF) (Report). Eirgrid. 2006-11-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-15. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  4. ^ Plea to save iconic twin stacks. Irish Independent 2007-07-07.
  5. ^ Poolbeg's chimneys puff their last plumes SADNESS: Landmark now looks doomed despite preservation bid. Evening Herald, 2010-03-31.
  6. ^ https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/lit-up-poolbeg-stacks-could-be-as-beautiful-as-eiffel-tower-1.1868061
  7. ^ "'I'm not harming anybody by climbing these beautiful structures' - Poolbeg tower climber". Independent.ie. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  8. ^ D'Arcy, Ciarán. "No safety net: Young man videos himself scaling Poolbeg chimney". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  9. ^ OJ Adventures, 207m Chimney Climb | Dublin, Ireland, retrieved 2018-12-19

External links[edit]