Centrica have submitted a planning application for a battery storage facility in Kilkenny, Ireland. If built, it will be the largest such project in Europe.
Energy Storage News reports that the facility could be as large as 100 MW, but an evaluation must first take place to analyse whether to go with storage or a gas-fired power plant, whose permission has already been approved, at the same site.
The plant would be developed in association with Irish subsidiary Bord Gais Energy.
In November Centrica revealed early stage plans to build the massive battery project, through the previously state-owned power and gas company it bought in 2014. However, details remained scant as planning documents had yet to be filed.
Kilkenny County Council is now processing an application received in December 2017 for the construction of a 100MW battery energy storage system with associated balance of plant, equipment and buildings.
This was put forward by Greener Ideas, a joint venture set up in 2009 between Bord Gáis Energy and Mountside Properties originally to develop open cycle gas turbines, which is now listed as the owner of the main development site for the battery project.
The facility is being planned to coincide with the needs of Ireland’s ‘Delivering a Secure, Sustainable Electricity System’ (DS3) programme, implemented by transmission system operator EirGrid.
This is being set up to facilitate the country’s efforts to meet its binding European target for renewable energy consumption of 16 per cent by 2020. As part of this, the Irish government plans to meet 40 per cent of electricity demand with renewable sources by the end of the decade.
The DS3 Programme is intended to meet the challenges of operating the electricity system in a secure manner during this period by ensuring the power system can incorporate increasing amounts of renewable generation.
Greener Ideas believes the provision of battery storage will be needed in this endeavour as the proposed control system will monitor the grid frequency and react automatically to stabilise the grid.
The battery project will need to compete with the capabilities of a 100MW Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) for which Greener Ideas also has planning permission granted on the same site.
However, the company wishes to secure permission for the battery as this is better suited to those services that require a quick response time to grid requirements but last a shorter duration.
The decision as to which technology will be developed at the site will be made once EirGrid has completed the auction later this year and it becomes clear what monetary value each DS3 service has achieved.
Only one technology will be developed on site depending on which project proves to be more lucrative should contracts be awarded, with the battery slated for completion in 2020 if chosen.