Turlough Hill

From Academic Kids

Turlough Hill is Ireland's only pumped-storage hydroelectricity plant, it is located in the mountains of County Wicklow. The plant was built during the late 1960s and early 1970s, for the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) by a German contractor. The project cost approximately IR£ 20 millon (approxmimately US$ 50 million) at the time. At the time ESB started the project it also investigated a nuclear power option, this latter activity would later result in the Nuclear Energy Board. For many years groups could visit the site of Turlough Hill and the plant however this was discontinued because of operational and security concerns. The project was considered a major civil engineering and environmental feat in Ireland.

Turlough Hill has four of six generators fitted and can generate 292 megawatt. Like other similar systems, it has a reservoir. In this case, the reservoir is at the top of a hill, which is released when required to produce electricity and filled when an overcapacity of electricity is available. When the order is given, electricity can be made available within approximately a minute of startup. This is quite fast especially when compared with conventional sources such as coal, gas and oil which can take hours if not days because of the requirement to heat all machinery to the steam temperature.

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