Refurbishment of Turlough Hill secures future of electricity storage facility for foreseeable future- Doyle
Following a very informative site visit to Turlough Hill today, Wicklow/East Carlow Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle has welcomed the nearing completion of a €76million facility refurbishment and has recognised its strategic importance in the development of sustainable renewable energy potential of Ireland.
“Turlough Hill has been in operation for over 40 years and this major upgrade, the first in its history which is due to be completed by July, will secure the continuation of this operation for the next 40 years.
Turlough Hill is an ESB pumped storage hydro-electric station. Construction of this station, which involved the building of a huge cavern in the heart of the mountain to house the generation plant and controls, took 6 years.
A pumped storage system allows for the use of excess electricity capacity during non-peak hours (mainly wind power) to pump water from the lower to the Upper lake and then to release water in the reverse direction in times of maximum demand-making extra electricity available immediately unlike a conventional oil or gas generating station.
“The site is a fascinating feat of engineering in a beautiful setting. It is welcome to see the upgrade nearing completion. 350,000 manhours and an average of 110 workers on site during the refurbishment demonstrate the scale of the operation. It is the only storage facility of its kind in the country and it is remarkable that its operation is as relevant today as it was in 1968.”