NEC Energy Solutions has revealed plans to install 100 MW of energy storage capacity at two sites in Northern Ireland, backed by engineering, procurement and construction services. Under the terms of the deal, NEC will also provide its GSS end-to-end grid storage solution, as well as AEROS, its proprietary energy storage control software.
The battery storage company, part of Japanese tech giant NEC Corp, claims the two 50 MW projects will be the biggest energy storage systems in Northern Ireland upon completion. NEC did not disclose the financial terms of the deal or reveal additional details about the technologies planned for use.
The energy storage company is building the two systems on behalf of London-based project developer Low Carbon and investor the Gore Street Energy Storage Fund (GSF). The deal is the second round of projects NEC has secured from GSF and Low Carbon.
NEC Energy Solutions is installing the 50 MW systems at Drumkee, in County Tyrone, and Mullavilly, in County Armagh. The projects are likely to receive public backing from the Delivering a Secure Sustainable Electricity System (DS3) scheme operated by state-owned electricity transmission system entities EirGrid, based in the Republic of Ireland, and the System Operator for Northern Ireland unit it owns.
Steve Fludder, chief executive of NEC Energy Solutions, said the storage projects mark the latest step in Northern Ireland’s “tremendous progress” in the deployment of clean energy, noting 44% of the province’s electricity consumption came from renewables last year.
“This easily beats Northern Ireland’s renewable target of 40% and occurred one year ahead of its 2020 deadline,” Fludder said. “Energy storage, via the DS3 program, makes more of this possible.”
The DS3 program is designed to help Ireland to meet its solar and wind generation capacity targets across the all-island network. The DS3 market includes fixed and standard contracts across the Irish grid.
Alex O’Cinneide, CEO of Gore Street Capital, said the storage projects will be critical to solar and wind deployment in Northern Ireland as the system operator has been struggling to manage the power system as more variable renewables such as solar come online.
“As investment in sources of volatile renewable generation to supply the grid in Ireland continues to increase – supported in particular by excellent wind generation potential – assets such as these will form a major step in advancing Ireland’s climate change objectives,” O’Cinneide said.
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