Minister Michael McGrath during the opening of the facility, Source: Michael McGrath on Facebook

Ireland kicks off an expansion of battery storage plants

Ireland kicks off an expansion of battery storage plants

In two years, just one company will be able to provide the energy grid with 300 megawatts of storage capacity for renewables

On 15 July, Ireland’s Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath indurated one of Ireland’s first battery storage facilities, near Cork. The plant will reportedly store renewable energy and ensure grid stability for one of the republic’s biggest energy providers – ESB. Additionally, it is the first step in their big battery storage expansion.

Stepping up energy storage capacities

One of the biggest issues for renewable energy is that power generation is unstable, as peak production is usually during the day, while peak consumption is at night. This is why many countries in the EU are now trying to develop different ways to store the renewable energy they produce, as it gains a larger share of the energy mix.

Battery storage facilities are one way to do it. This is what the new facility in Cork will provide for the local grid, with a modest storage capacity of 19 megawatts. At the same time, according to a statement by the company, the facility will be able to respond to a shortage within 150 milliseconds and provide energy at full power for two hours.

The ESB’s Chief Executive Paddy Hayes was quoted explaining that in the next two years, the company will be able to deliver 300 megawatts of battery storage capacity. In addition to the Cork plant, the company is also developing battery storage facilities in Inchicore, South Wall and Poolbeg, Dublin.

This, Mr Hayes pointed out, will help to deliver a clean and stable energy grid in Ireland’s renewable expansion, as the country is supposed to be 80% powered by renewable energy in 2030. Minister McGrath said that introducing these facilities will help Ireland to expand its renewable energy production.

As the RTÉ reports, similar facilities are popping up all over the country, with a 60-megawatt plant in Monaghan and a 50-megawatt plant in Meath. Furthermore, Microsoft has announced that they will build one in the company’s data centre in Dublin.



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