energy saving

AES Energy Storage launch Irish storage array

AES UK & Ireland have officially launched the AES Kilroot Advancion Energy Storage Array located at Kilroot Power Station in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland.  
AES Energy Storage launch Irish storage array

The array is the largest advanced energy storage system in the UK and Ireland and represents a significant investment in the future of Northern Ireland’s infrastructure. It is the first step towards the delivery of a 100 MW energy storage facility that would provide £8.5 million in system savings per annum, saving the equivalent of 123,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Irish Junior Ministers Jennifer McCann and Emma Pengelly from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister attended the launch event along with 120 visitors from Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, Europe and the United States. The event was followed by a tour with deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

“The energy environment is constantly changing and energy storage has the potential to benefit all of us by lowering costs, helping the environment and improving security of supply to our homes and businesses” said First Minister, Martin McGuinness. “It is also an important factor as we look to decarbonise our energy supplies. I thank AES and congratulate them on their achievements and wish them every success with their proposals for full-scale deployment of the Array.”

Enterprise, Trade & Investment Minister Jonathan Bell added that the ability to meet demand for electricity is one of the highest priorities for any Government and that having available a source of power which can respond quickly to help meet demand at peak times can make an important contribution to system security.

The Advancion array provides 10 MW of interconnected energy storage, equivalent to 20 MW of flexible resource, and utilises the company’s Advancion energy storage platform. Advancion 4, the latest design introduced in November 2015, is a complete, battery-based alternative to traditional peaking power plants and pumped hydroelectric storage projects that provides a dependable, smart and cost-competitive means to support a reliable, low carbon electricity system for the Northern Ireland economy.

The array has been operating as a fully commercial project, within the operator’s existing Harmonised Ancillary Services system, since 5th January. Innovate UK is providing Energy Catalyst funding for Queen’s University Belfast to analyse the impact of this array. This in turn could provide insights on the possible potential benefits of energy storage to the UK and Ireland electricity systems.

According to Mark Thompson, Innovate UK's Lead Technologist for Energy Systems, Northern Ireland has a much higher proportion of renewable electricity than the rest of the UK. As the proportion of low-cost renewable energy continues to grow and as costs for grid-scale battery storage rapidly decrease, the Kilroot project is an invaluable window into the future of the wider UK energy system. Mr Thompson believes it is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the network value and the business case for electricity storage at large scale in a real world environment.  

AES UK & Ireland owns both the Ballylumford and Kilroot Power Stations in Northern Ireland where the company has operated since 1992. Globally, AES owns and operates the world’s largest advanced energy storage fleet, with 116 MW in operation, and a further 268 MW in construction or late stage development.

For additional information:

AES UK & Ireland

AES Energy Storage

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