Ireland’s Largest Transformer 500 MVA Arrives at Moneypoint

To strengthen the 400 kV network for ESB in the South West of Ireland a new transformer was purchased which is the largest of this voltage and type in Ireland weighing in at 540 tonnes.

Several visits were made by Robert LeRoux and Piotr Smereka of ESB International, Eugene McNamara of ESB Networks and Gianluca DiConza of Eirgrid to the factory to follow the progress of the design and manufacture. The transformer was completed and the Factory Acceptance Test took place during October 2016.  The transformer having passed all tests comfortably was loaded onto a girder bridge trailer for transport.

From Legnano in Italy the transformer was taken by a 100m long truck convoy to the port city of Chioggia where it was loaded onto a ship bound for Ireland, arriving on Friday the 14th October in Foynes.

The transformer was transferred from the ship onto a Self Propelled Trailer on top of a barge. From Foynes the barge went back up the Shannon to Moneypoint Generating Station. Here, at high tide on Saturday the 15th October the barge was landed at the jetty and as the tide went out at about noon, the barge was effectively on dry ground.

The contractor ALE, attached ramps to the barge and manoeuvred the transformer off using the self-propelled trailer. From the jetty the transformer drove the 2 km to the 400 kV substation where it was offloaded for assembly and connection to the 400 kV grid. This transformer will be energised early in 2017.

Head of ESB Network’s HV Delivery and Contracting division PC Lynch tells us “Ireland is targeted to have 40% of the country’s electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

“Having one of the largest transformers in the world connected to our network will strengthen our resilience and help pave the way for the enormous amount of wind generation we are expecting in the coming years.

“We’re investing today so we are ready for the challenges of tomorrow.” 

This project was managed by ESB International, and they would like to acknowledge the major collaborative effort from ESB Networks and Eirgrid for successfully getting the 500 MVA transformer to site at Moneypoint.