ARDNACRUSHA POWER STATION is reopening for public tours this summer.
ESB have confirmed it is once again opening the gates of the historic power station to the general public for a unique visitor experience into Ireland’s first national hydro-electric station in Co Clare.
Following a successful month of school group visits throughout June, public tours run from July 3rd to September 8th 2023. The guided tours are available from Monday to Friday, run for approximately 90 minutes and each tour can accommodate groups of up to 30.
Visitors are welcomed to the Ardnacrusha Experience at the recently refurbished visitors’ centre before going out on site to view the impressive headrace canal, locks and tailrace. Once inside the station, the living heritage of the Shannon Scheme is brought to life through animation and artifacts that celebrate the history and impact of this iconic project. Visitors are given access to the very heart of the station with unique views of the turbine hall and a visit to the original control room.
Commissioned in 1929, the Shannon hydro-electric scheme was built by 5,000 workers over a period of four years. Costing more than £5m, some 20% of the GDP, ESB Ardnacrusha became a symbol of the country’s progression through the harnessing of its natural resources. With the national grid constructed at the same time, the 86 MW capacity was then enough to meet the electricity demands of the whole country. Today, ESB Ardnacrusha represents around 2% of our total installed capacity.
A tour of the station demonstrates how electricity has played a critical role in enhancing Irish life since the construction of the station more than 90 years ago and highlights how ESB, through its Driven to Make a Difference: Net Zero by 2040 strategy, are embracing the next generation of renewable technology to create a brighter future for all.
ESB’s Brendan Shine, Plant Manager at Ardnacrusha explained, “The Ardnacrusha Experience tells the story of the power of electricity and its transformative impact on Irish life; it offers the opportunity for people to learn not just about the history of the plant dating back to its inception in the 1920s but also of ESB’s Driven to Make a Difference: Net Zero by 2040 strategy which is leading the secure, affordable transition to renewable energy technology and therefore a brighter future for Ireland.
“All of us who work at the plant have been very proud to re-open our gates to the general public for the first time since 2019. We look forward to welcoming school groups and indeed, all those with an interest in engineering, history and heritage for pre-booked visits over the summer,” he added.