Plans for Europe’s biggest ESS to be built in Ireland

Published on: January 11, 2018 10:45 amBy: Jade Beevor


Ireland could be home to Europe’s biggest electro-chemical energy storage system if plans for a 100MW lithium ion project by Greener Ideas,  a joint venture set up between Bord Gáis Energy and Mountside Properties, are approved on February 13.

If approved by Kilkenny County Council, the project in the county would beat the previous biggest system located in Germany, a 90MW ESS inaugurated by German utility Steag and Nidec ASI in November 2016.

Plans are for the development which will consist of the construction of the 100MW ESS with associated balance of plant, equipment and buildings.

The BESS building is set to be 8m high, 82m long and 44metre wide, and will include a battery rack room, meeting room, contractor/storeroom, wet room, UPS room, switch gear room, WC, Transformer rooms, and inverter rooms.

A Bord Gáis Energy official told ESJB: “Bord Gáis Energy is exploring a number of potential options for the development of projects in the Republic of Ireland that would facilitate the growth of renewable projects, while also supporting the electricity grid.

“A planning application has been submitted at a Kilkenny site, this is one of a number of options under consideration across a number of sites. These projects are in the development stage and are dependent on market structures being put in place in the coming years.

“I-SEM should start in 2018 and with that there are a number of planned auctions commencing in 2018 for the delivery of different market services. This does include grid scale services like frequency response. Ability to provide these services will depend on the providing technology.

“For reasons of commercial confidentiality, Bord Gáis Energy cannot comment on any specifics.”

In May 2015 Gaelectric and Tesla announced the purchase and planned deployment of Tesla Energy’s battery power utility-scale project in Ireland for a 1MW demonstration project.

In January 2016, a 10MW lithium ion system by US-based company AES began operations to help balance supply and demand and support the Irish transmission grid. The Kilroot Advancion Energy Storage Array was the company’s first transmission-scale system in the UK.

At the time AES said the 10MW installation was the first step toward a planned 100MW energy storage array adjacent to Kilroot Power Station in Northern Ireland.

Ireland’s adoption of energy storage has also focused on flywheel technology.

In 2014, Renewable Power, with assistance from Enterprise Ireland launched its Wind-Storage Hybrid Study to look at how 2MW flywheel, and battery technologies could store wind generated energy to minimize curtailment, enable wind generators to participate in the ancillary services market, and store power at off-peak times and/or at times of low demand.

A year later, Irish-based company Schwungrad Energie began a pilot scheme to test a 576kW flywheel and battery hybrid-system based in Rhode, County Offaly. Developed in collaboration with the Department of Physics & Energy at University of Limerick, it has received the support of US utility-scale flywheel firm Beacon Power.

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