The first grid-connected hybrid flywheel project in Europe has been announced and is to be sited in the Irish midlands.

The development in storage will be welcomed by renewable energy industries as the technologies continue to make inroads in affordability, cost effectiveness and grid stability.

€2.55 million from the European Commission Horizon 2020 was received in December of 2014 to support the work. The project has been selected by the Irish Transmission System Operator, EirGrid, as a demonstration.
Flywheel technology facility Ireland
SchwungradEnergie Limited is behind the project and will collaborate with the Dept. of Physics and Energy at the University of Limerick and US company, Beacon Power.

Flywheel technology has the advantage of being a ‘100% clean’ power source as the hybrid technology has no direct fuel use or related emissions, and no water consumption. It simply absorbs power, stores it and is continuously ready to respond to any grid requirements to rapidly inject power… It is not a power plant in the conventional sense, but operates as a shock absorber and dynamic energy support system, absorbing and re-injecting small but highly flexible amounts of power to suit grid requirements,” said Frank Burke, Schwungrad Technical Director told Clean Technica website.

Unlike batteries, flywheels do not use chemicals, they use mechanical energy. Theoretically, this can allow them to last longer. They are nontoxic and nonflammable. A flywheel also uses no water and has no emissions.

Flywheel technology has an added advantage of being silent, clean and uses no water or extra fuel other than what is used in the generation of the electricity in the first place.