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EirGrid lowers the number of thermal power plants operating on Ireland's grid

The Irish power transmission system operator EirGrid hast reduced the minimum number of large conventional thermal power plants that must operate on Ireland’s power network at any one time from 5 to 4. With this reduction, the all-island power grid can now operate with 7 large conventional thermal power plants, including 4 (and not 5) in Ireland and 3 in Northern Ireland (United Kingdom).

This decision follows a 10-month experiment to introduce higher percentages of wind and solar power generation in the grid. Currently, up to 75% of Ireland's power generation can come from variable renewables - so called "system non-synchronous penetration" (SNSP) limit - and the reduction in the requirement for thermal power generation will help EirGrid further increase this SNSP limit.

Under Ireland's National Energy and Climate Plan to 2030, renewables should cover 34.1% of final consumption in 2030 (80% of which for electricity).

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