RWE Renewables’ first European-based battery storage project has entered full operations in Ireland. The 8.5 megawatt hour (MWh) battery storage facility will be capable of providing a rapid delivery of electricity into the power grid in order to balance fluctuations resulting from the growing proportion of electricity generated by intermittent renewables.
The site is located in Stephenstown, Balbriggan, in County Dublin, and is the first of two battery storage facilities that RWE AG, Essen, Germany, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, will bring online in Ireland this year.
Cathal Hennessy, Country Chair, RWE Renewables Ireland, said: “Stephenstown is a utility-scale battery storage investment, in a market which is already committed to renewable energies, and which provides dedicated support for battery storage. Ireland is an excellent starting point for RWE Renewables, the newest subsidiary of the RWE Group, as we look to expand and grow our battery storage technology business and become a key partner in Ireland’s low carbon energy transition.”
The Stephenstown battery storage plant will provide critical system services to help ensure a smooth flow of electricity into the grid, as Ireland continues its transition into renewable energies. In the first half of 2020 Irish onshore wind farms generated nearly 37% of the country’s electricity needs, making Ireland an important market for onshore wind. Ireland has set a target of generating 70% renewable electricity by 2030. Deployment of battery storage like Stephenstown, will be capable of responding in milliseconds to frequency changes, importing or exporting electricity from the grid as needed, and helping efficiently stabilise the grid, while guaranteeing reliable electricity supply for users.
RWE Renewables has been in Ireland since 2016 and now has two offices; one in Kilkenny City and one in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. In 2018, the company constructed, and now operates the 10 MW Dromadda Beg Onshore Wind Farm, located in County Kerry, RWE’s first onshore wind farm in the country. The Irish development team is exploring further renewable projects and opportunities. A planning application was submitted earlier this year for the 62 MW Lyre Onshore Wind Farm, located on the borders of County Cork. Offshore, RWE is developing in partnership with Saorgus Energy the Dublin Array offshore wind farm, which would have an installed capacity of between 600 to 900 MW. RWE is also developing new solar and battery storage projects, including the Lisdrumdoagh facility.