Tarbert Next Generation Power Station

Project Background

SSE Thermal is proposing that the site of our existing power station in Tarbert will provide the location for a new power station which would run on 100% sustainable biofuel, Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), with the potential to utilise hydrogen in the future. The proposed development consists of an Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) plant fuelled by HVO, which is produced by processing waste feedstocks to create a fossil-free alternative to diesel in accordance with EU sustainability standards.

An OCGT plant has been selected for the proposed development as it is able to respond rapidly to changes in electricity demand by starting up quickly and achieving full output within a short period of time.

The proposed Tarbert Next Generation Power Station secured a 10-year capacity agreement in the T-4 Capacity Auction, to commence in 2026/27. Capacity auctions are a key element of the all-island electricity market, designed to deliver reliable electricity supply into the future. We are now applying for planning permission and the new station could be operational by 2026.

The new station will support the security of electrical power supply, the continued expansion of Ireland’s renewable generation capacity and would provide essential support to the electricity supply system at times of peak demand and at times when other electricity generation sources are not sufficient to meet demand.

Planning Information

The Proposed Development will include: Demolition of existing structures on site (Including workshop and storage buildings, shot blasting shed, lube oil store, toilet block, chemical storage bund, boiler wash storage tank, canteen, demineralised water tank, water treatment plant building and associated infrastructure, ‘puraflo’ wastewater treatment plant, tanks and fuel lines); Construction of OCGT power plant (350MW), and associated building (30m high) including air intake; Emissions stack (55m high) with continuous emissions monitoring systems (‘CEMS’); Selective Catalytic Reduction (‘SCR’) with air intake, filters and dilution fans; Skids; 2no. blocks of fin fan coolers; Power control module; Emergency generator; One unit transformer and one grid transformer with a firewall separating, and overhead cable connection to existing 220kV substation; Aqueous ammonia tank; Propane gas tank, compound and unloading bay; Demineralised water treatment plant; 2no. Demineralised water storage tanks; Raw water and fire water storage tank; Fire water module; 3no. fuel storage tanks with 2no. unloading bays; Fuel polishing and transfer system; Fuel pipework; Wastewater treatment plant; Administration building and workshop with associated car parking area (8no. spaces); Store; Flood defence wall and gates; And all associated ancillary development, site works and services including internal roads, security fencing and gates, drainage infrastructure, lighting, underground pipework and cabling.

The application relates to development for the purposes of an activity requiring a license from the Environmental Protection Agency under the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992, as amended. It also relates to a COMAH establishment and therefore falls under the requirements of the Chemicals Act (Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations, 2015.

An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (‘EIAR’) and Natura Impact Statement (‘NIS’) will be submitted with the application.

The planning application, including the EIAR and NIS, may be inspected free of charge or purchased on payment of a specified fee (which shall not exceed the reasonable cost of making a copy) during public opening hours for a period of seven weeks commencing on 5th December 2023 at the following locations:

  • The offices of An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, D01 V902;
  • The offices of Kerry County Council, County Buildings, Rathass, Tralee, Co. Kerry, V92 H7VT.

The planning application, including the EIAR and NIS, may also be viewed or downloaded on the following website: www.ssetarbertnextgen.com.

Submissions or observations may be made only to An Bord Pleanála (“the Board”), 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, D01 V902; or via the Board’s website, www.pleanala.ie/en-ie/observations, during the aforementioned period relating to:

  1. The implications of the Proposed Development for proper planning and sustainable development; and
  2. The likely effects on the environment of the Proposed Development; and
  3. The likely significant effects of the Proposed Development on a European site, if carried out.

Any submissions or observations must be accompanied by a fee of €50 (except for certain prescribed bodies) and must be received by the Board not later than 5.30 p.m. on 1st February 2024 (The provisions of section 251 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, relating to the holiday period between the 24th December and 1st January, both days inclusive, have been taken into account in the calculation of the response date). Such submissions or observations must also include the following information:

  • The name of the person making the submission or observation, the name of the person acting on his or her behalf, if any, and the address to which any correspondence relating to the application should be sent; and
  • The subject matter of the submission or observation; and
  • The reasons, considerations and arguments on which the submission or observation is based in full (Article 217 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended, refers).

Any submissions or observations which do not comply with the above requirements cannot be considered by the Board.

The Board may, at its absolute discretion, hold an oral hearing on the application (refer to ‘A Guide to Public Participation in Strategic Infrastructure Development’ at www.pleanala.ie).

The Board may, in respect of an application for permission/approval, decide to:

a) (i) grant the permission/approval; 

(ii) make such modifications to the Proposed Development as it specifies in its decision and grant permission/approval in respect of the Proposed Development as so modified; or

(iii) grant permission/approval in respect of part of the Proposed Development (with or without specified modifications of the foregoing kind), and any of the above decisions may be subject to or without conditions; or

b) Refuse permission to grant the permission/approval.

Any enquiries relating to the application process should be directed to the Strategic Infrastructure Development Section of An Bord Pleanála (Tel. 01-8588100).

A person may question the validity of any such decision of the Board by way of an application for judicial review, under Order 84 of the Rule of the Superior Courts (S.I. No. 15 of 1986, as amended by S.I. No. 691 of 2011), in accordance with Section 50 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended. Practical information on the review mechanism can be accessed on the Board’s website (www.pleanala.ie) under the following heading: Legal Notices – Judicial Review Notice. This information is also available on the Citizens Information Service website (www.citizensinformation.ie).

Planning Submission Documents

Non-Technical Summary

Environmental Impact Assessment Report, Volume III - Figures


Table of Contents

Figure 1.1 - Site Location Plan

Figure 4.1 - Site Setting

Figure 4.2 - Site Aerial

Figure 4.3 - Constraints Plan

Figure 4.4 - Planning Search 5km

Drawing 001 - Proposed Site Plan

Drawing 002A - Proposed Existing Site Elevations

Drawing 002B - Proposed Site Elevations A, B, C, D

Drawing 002C - Proposed Site Elevations (without flood wall) – A, B, C, D

Drawing 004 - Existing Site Plan – Proposed Buildings to be Demolished

Drawing 005 - Site Services Layout

Drawing 009 - Proposed Admin Building, Workshop, Plan, Elevations and Sections

Drawing 011 - Proposed Denim Water Plant, Plan, Elevations and Sections

Drawing 013 - Gas Turbine Unit, Plan Section and Elevations

Drawing 015 - Fuel Tanks, Plan, Elevations and Sections

Drawing 016 - HV Connection and Transformers, Plan and Elevations

Drawing 019 - Proposed Flood Defence Sections

Drawing 020 - Proposed Flood Defence Structures

Drawing 022 - Proposed Lighting Overall Plan

Figure 7.1 - Modelled Sources from the SSE Tarbert Site

Figure 7.2 - Modelled Sources from SSE Tarbert Site and Cumulative Developments

Figure 7.3 - Modelled Ecological Receptors

Figure 7.4 - Modelled Human Receptors

Figure 7.5 - Annual Mean NO2

Figure 7.6 - NO2 1hr Contours

Figure 7.7 - SO2 24hr Contours

Figure 7.8 - SO2 1hr Contours

Figure 7.9 - CO 8hr Contours

Figure 7.10 - PM10 An Contour

Figure 7.11 - PM10 24hr Contours

Figure 7.12 - SO2 An Contours

Figure 8.1 - Cultural Heritage Assets

Figure 9.1 - European Sites

Figure 9.2 - Fossit Habitats within Site

Figure 10.1 - Landscape Designations

Figure 10.2 - Zone of Theoretical Visibility

Figure 11.1 - NSR

Figure 11.2 - Road Links

Figure 11.3a - Predicted Construction Noise Levels in the Typical Month

Figure 11.3b - Peak Month - Piling Location 1

Figure 11.3c - Peak Month - Piling Location 2

Figure 11.3d - Piling and Foundation Stage - Piling Location 1

Figure 11.3e - Piling and Foundation Stage - Piling Location 2

Figure 11.4 - Operational Noise Level Post Mitigation

Figure 12.1 - Surface Waterbodies and Catchment

Figure 12.2 - Aquifers Designations

Figure 12.3 - Groundwater Vulnerability

Figure 13.1 - RSM

Figure 13.2 - RBM

Figure 14.1 - Traffic Survey Locations

Figure 14.2 - Site Access Locations

Figure 14.3 - Car Parking Locations

Community Consultation

An SSE Thermal led community consultation was held between 10 July and 02 August 2023 to provide members of the public with information on the Proposed Development in advance of the submission of the planning application and to enable them to express their own ideas, allowing the public to take an active role in developing the proposals by providing feedback. 

Prior to the launch of the community consultation, the dedicated Community Liaison Officer for the project went door-to-door on 28 April 2023 to households in close proximity to the existing Tarbert Power HFO Station in addition to Tarbert itself to introduce himself and highlight the forthcoming consultation related to the Proposed Development, alongside providing an update on the separate Temporary Emergency Generation (TEG) project. 

On the week commencing 03 July 2023 a newsletter was circulated to households in close proximity to the existing Tarbert HFO Power Station, Tarbert and the surrounding area which provided an overview of the Proposed Development alongside advertising in-person and online consultation activities. A copy of the newsletter was provided to local political stakeholders in advance of its circulation. Also, on the week commencing 03 July a press release providing an overview of the Proposed Development and consultation activities was issued to local media publications either side of the Kerry-Limerick border. Furthermore, paid advertising was taken out with The Kerryman, Kerry’s Eye and The Weekly Observer newspapers on week commencing 10 July to further promote in-person and online consultation activities.

The community consultation took the form of an online virtual consultation room and in-person staffed exhibitions. Both the online virtual consultation room and in-person events presented plans and project information for the Proposed Development on ‘roll-up’ banners. The virtual consultation room was launched on 10 July, while in-person events were held on 18 and 19 July 2023 as follows:

  • Tarbert Community Centre (1730 – 2100hrs on 18 July 2023),

  • Listowel Arms Hotel (1730 – 2100hrs on 19 July 2023).

Key members of the project team from SSE, Gravis Planning and AECOM were present to assist attendees, talk through the proposals and respond to questions or issues raised. Attendees included members of the local community, elected representatives, local employees and those with an interest in the surrounding environment. Feedback Forms were available to enable those who attended the events to express their viewpoints about different aspects of the Proposed Development. The Feedback Forms included the contact details of the Community Liaison Officer to enable individuals to send further comments if desired. A Feedback Form mechanism was also provided for the online virtual consultation room. Feedback was recorded by the project team and via the Feedback Forms and subsequently collated by SSE.

The virtual consultation room closed on 02 August, marking the end of the SSE Thermal led community consultation.

Project Video