Irish grid authority Eirgrid Group has selected three large scale storage projects, with a combined capacity of 110 MW, in the first auction held under the DS3 program.
The initiative has enabled the Irish electricity grid to raise the contribution of renewables from 50% to 65%, a level Eirgrid describes as a “world first”, and with the further aim of reaching 75%.
The storage tender held on September 24 was intended to allocate around 140 MW of capacity. Ultimately, however, two 30 MW projects and a 50 MW facility were selected by the grid operator.
One 30 MW project was submitted by Kilmannock Battery Storage Limited and a second of the same size is being planned by Porterstown Battery Storage Limited. The 50 MW project will be developed by Scottish Power Renewables (UK) Limited after a tender which attracted 18 bids.
“All of the successful projects were solid-state batteries located in Ireland,” said Eirgrid.
A month ago, Eirgrid reported it had approved applications for a total 252 MW of large scale solar farm generation capacity, 842 MW of small scale systems and 351 MW of storage capacity under its ECP-1 capacity application process. The policy, introduced at the start of last year, was conceived to create a new system for issuing connection offers for new generation and storage capacity.
“IHS Markit believes that the DS3 program will help stimulate the growth of energy storage installations in the Irish market much the same as the opening of frequency regulation markets did in the UK and Germany,” said IHS Markit analyst Michael Longson to pv magazine. “However, the opportunity for ancillary services is limited and will quickly be saturated.” According to him, as Ireland increases the penetration of renewable energy, the need for flexibility will drive additional installations as seen with the first phase of the 200 MW battery energy storage system from Hanwha/Lumcloon Energy under construction. “The system was designed to participate as part of the DS3 program but did not secure a long-term contract in the initial auction,” he further explained.
The DS3 program accepts applications that can provide fast frequency response or primary operating reserve services that align with grid code standards and a transmission system operators’ list of proven technologies.
The three new storage projects will supplement several others under development in Ireland, including two 100 MW lithium-ion storage units Hanwha Energy Corporation and Lumcloon Energy are deploying near the municipalities of Ferbane and Shannonbridge and facilities German renewables business Innogy is planning in the counties of Dublin, Meath and Monaghan.