Kilroot power station
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of United Kingdom and coal.|
Kilroot Power Station is a 520 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned by AES. The power station is located in Carrickfergus, County Antrim in Northern Ireland.
The power station was first commissioned in 1981. However, AES bought the power station in 1992 when the publicly owned power station was privatised.
The station was originally designed to use four 300 megawatt (MW) generating units. However, due to government spending restrictions in the early 1980s the project was truncated to two 260 MW units. The station opened on 1 February 1981, when the first of the two generating unit went into operation. The plant was completed in 1981.  The power station was originally fueled by only oil, as it was the lowest cost fuel at the time. But following a change in generating policies in Northern Ireland in 1985 following the increase in oil prices, it was decided the plant would be converted burn coal as well as oil. This conversion took place between 1986 and 1989, and the subcritical plant has burned almost exclusively only coal ever since.
Two days before Christmas in 2005, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Industry granted AES permission to install flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) equipment at the station. This was to help the station meet the European Union Large Combustion Plant Directive by January 2008. AES's plan to install the pollution control equipment was opposed by environmental groups and the Northern Ireland energy regulator. The Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation argued that the Kilroot plant was a "relatively inefficient and dirty power station." Following the decision the authority expressed "regret" that "that Government, firstly as a result of the original botched privatisation of electricity in Northern Ireland and secondly, through what must be viewed as an inadequate planning and consent framework, is unable to prevent an outcome which is clearly contrary to its wider energy and environmental policy objectives." It also stated that "firmly opposed to the cost of the FGD extension being passed through to customers."
Power Purchase Agreement
From the time of privatisation in 1992, AES had a Power Purchase Agreement with NIE Energy Limited, the owner of the Northern Island electricity distribution network. However, the PPA for power from AES's Kilroot power station was terminated in November 2010. In its 2011 annual report AES stated that "as a result, the performance (and contributions to income and cash flow) from Kilroot will decline in the future when compared to prior years. Furthermore, these businesses (and any other businesses whose long-term contracts may be challenged) may have to sell electricity into the spot markets."
Elsewhere in its its annual report AES noted that it had "lower revenue of $46 million at Kilroot, in Northern Ireland, primarily resulting from the cancellation of the long-term PPA and supplementary agreements in November 2010." AES also noted that the plant had recorded a "lower capacity factor due to a decline in market demand."
Articles and Resources
- Department of Energy and Climate Change, "Power stations in the United Kingdom, May 2012", Department of Energy and Climate Change, May 2012. (This link is to an Excel spreadsheet).
- "Generating success", Modern Utility Management, June 10, 2010.
- Renewable Energy Association, "Kilroot Power Station", Renewable Energy Association website, archived page from July 2011.
- Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation, "The Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation (NIAER) expresses its dismay re Government decision", Media Release, December 23, 2005.
- AES, 2011 Annual Report, AES Corporation, March 2012, page 57.
- AES, 2011 Annual Report, AES Corporation, March 2012, page 89.
- AES, 2011 Annual Report, AES Corporation, March 2012, page 139.
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Planning Appeals Commission, 'Appeal by Kilroot Power Station against the non-determination of a full planning application for the installation of a Seawater Process Flue Gas Desulphurisation Plant, at Kilroot Power Station, Carrickfergus.", August 31, 2005.
- Mark E Miller, Managing Director of AES Kilroot, "A Draft Strategic Energy Framework for Northern Ireland 2009", September 22, 2009.
- John Woods, Director Friends of the Earth Ireland, "Complaint to the Commission of the European Communities Concerning Failure to Comply with Community Law", April 2006.