Huntstown Power Plant
Client: Viridian Group
Parsons Brinckerhoff Role: Owner’s Engineer
The 747-megawatt (MW) Huntstown Power Plant produced more than 15 percent of the electricity fed into Ireland’s power grid in 2008, its first full year of operation with extended facilities. The plant was constructed in two phases: a 343-MW unit completed in 2002, and a 404-MW unit completed in 2007. The gas-fired combined cycle plant was developed by Huntstown Power Company—part of the Viridian Group, Ireland’s first independent power producer—in response to steadily increasing demand for electricity in Ireland. Parsons Brinckerhoff served as Owner’s Engineer for the plant’s development.
To avoid an electricity shortfall, it was important to add capacity as rapidly as possible during Phase I. To accomplish this, a multi-shaft design was selected that allowed Phase I to be on line in open cycle, without heat recovery, within 16 months. By contrast, the single-shaft system used for Phase II provides maximum efficiency and start-up flexibility. The plant is also capable of running on distillate oil in the event of an interruption in the natural gas supply, thereby increasing operational flexibility. To increase efficiency during the project’s development, Parsons Brinckerhoff recommended that incentives be established for completion one month ahead of the owner’s schedule. This motivated subcontractors to collaborate in the interest of accelerating the overall schedule, and helped produce timely completion of water, electrical, and gas supply interfaces. The Huntstown plant tested at a better-than-guaranteed output and heat rate, and was delivered within schedule and budget.