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Temporary Emergency Generation at Tarbert

17 Feb 2023

SSE Thermal is currently engaged in discussions regarding a potential Temporary Emergency Generation development at its Tarbert site in County Kerry, after a request from the Irish Authorities to support security of supply at the site.

Following legislation and a concurrent site selection process undertaken by EirGrid, with approval from the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, the Tarbert site was selected as a potential location. The technology selected by the Authorities comprises 150MW of generation capacity, to run on distillate oil. It will, if approval is granted, operate as an emergency plant with a maximum running time of 500 hours per annum. Under the Government’s emergency generation legislation, this capacity is to cease operations as soon as the temporary electricity emergency has been addressed, and no later than March 2028. The unit would only be utilised when it is clear that market-sourced generation will not be sufficient to meet system needs.

SSE is a responsible corporate citizen, committed to a smooth, just and affordable transition to a net zero Ireland. The company remains fully committed to its Science-Based Targets and to delivering on its low-carbon ambitions. When approached by the Irish Authorities, SSE Thermal was prepared to assist the temporary process. It is not expected or anticipated to impact on SSE’s 2030 targets.

As part of the ongoing discussions outlined above, SSE Thermal has today published a formal notice that it will make an application to the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications for approval of the Temporary Emergency Generation development at Tarbert.

Catherine Raw, Managing Director of SSE Thermal, said:

"SSE Thermal is focussed on bringing forward strategic low-carbon flexible generation projects such as hydrogen, carbon capture and biofuel technologies to enable Ireland’s transition to net zero. We recognise that we also have a responsibility to support security of supply for the people and businesses of Ireland.  

"Following the request from the Irish Authorities to provide temporary emergency generation at Tarbert, SSE has stepped up provided it is on a time limited basis and with limited running hours.  Pursuing a pathway to net zero remains SSE’s strategy, and this emergency response simply supports security of supply for people and businesses in Ireland that should relieve pressures in the short term.  SSE remains 100% committed to addressing the climate emergency and to delivering our ambitious emissions reduction targets.”

Application documentation will be posted on  and

Information on the Commission for Regulation of Utility’s Security of Electricity Supply Programme of Actions can be found here: CRU2022985CRU update on Temporary Emergency Generation for Electricity Security of Supply - Commission for Regulation of Utilities.

If you have any queries with respect to the project, please contact [email protected].