Big storage comes to Ireland

Share

With that tweet, Ireland’s minister for communications, climate action and environment, Richard Bruton, welcomed the beginning of construction of a 200 MW storage project planned in County Offaly, in Leinster province in the east of Ireland.

The project consists of two 100 MW lithium-ion storage units near the municipalities of Ferbane and Shannonbridge, Irish broadcaster RTE revealed. The developer is Korea-based Hanwha Energy Corporation, the parent company of module maker Hanwha Q Cells, and Irish company Lumcloon Energy Limited is a partner on the project.

The storage facility is intended to secure power supply for the country’s future energy grid, which is expected to accommodate a rising share of renewable energy generation. The Irish solar sector has in recent times seen more large scale development activity.

Grid balancing

Lumcloon Energy Limited announced the project with Hanwha in April 2018. “Together with our partners Hanwha and a second Korean company, LSIS, this project solves the energy supply risks from the wide variability of wind power as we increase our reliance and dependency on renewables,” Lumcloon CEO Nigel Reams said at the time. “This project will provide essential back-up for Ireland’s rapidly expanding renewable energy sector and benefit consumers and business alike.”

Ireland’s main grid operator, Eirgrid, began its multi-year Delivering a Secure, Sustainable Electricity System program in 2011. The scheme is intended to provide stable and efficient grid management measures and is crucial to meeting the country’s target of generating 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by next year. As a part of the initiative, Eirgrid last September launched a tender for 140 MW of storage capacity.

In April, German renewable energy company Innogy – which has planned several hundred megawatts of wind power generation capacity in Ireland – announced plans to deploy battery storage facilities in the counties of Dublin, Meath and Monaghan.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Ireland had a pumped storage capacity of 292 MW at the end of last year. Its installed hydropower capacity stood at 529 MW while solar and wind had shares of 3,518 MW and 29 MW, respectively. Fossil fuels still meet around half of Ireland’s power demand.