Europe’s Largest Energy Storage Project Begins Construction

AES has begun construction of what will be the largest energy storage project in Europe when it comes online later this year in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland.

The 10-MW/40-MWh Kilroot Advancion Energy Storage Array is being added to the AES UK & Ireland Kilroot Power Station in County Antrim along the country’s east coast. The grid-connected lithium-ion storage facility, which will help balance supply and demand and support the island-wide grid via system operator SONI, is expected to begin operations by the end of 2015. It will also enable more efficient dispatch of existing generation and increase the ability to integrate renewable power sources.

Northern Ireland has around 660 MW of installed wind capacity, according to the Irish Wind Energy Association, with another 2.3 GW installed in the Republic of Ireland. John Zahurancik, president of AES Energy Storage, told POWER last year that one of the Kilroot project’s goals is to allow the island to make the most use of its wind farms and cope with overgeneration situations. “It’s about making sure they can take all the wind generation they’re paying for,” he said.

AES has previously filed plans to build a total of 100 MW of storage at Kilroot, a 660-MW coal, oil, and biomass–fired plant that has been operating since the 1980s. That larger proposal is still pending.

“We are excited to begin construction of AES’ first energy storage project in the UK, bringing enhanced reliability, flexibility and efficiency to the grid,” said Roger Casement, AES UK & Ireland plant manager. “We’re proud to offer Northern Ireland a cost-effective and cutting-edge solution for supporting security of supply and modernising our infrastructure.”

—Thomas W. Overton JD is a POWER associate editor (@thomas_overton, @POWERmagazine).

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