Sian Crampsie

Fluence and Statkraft are preparing to commission Ireland’s first energy storage project.

The 11 MW Kilathmoy installation in County Kerry will be guaranteed to deliver a response to any power fluctuations on the grid in 150 milliseconds – about one sixth of a second – or less.

It was developed as part of Ireland’s Delivering a Secure Sustainable Electricity System (DS3) energy storage initiative, and is co-located with a 23 MW wind farm.

The 150-millisecond response time, driven by DS3, is “among the fastest and most stringent we have seen anywhere, and therefore has the potential to provide premium value when needed,” said Paul McCusker, Fluence Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Ireland and Statkraft are providing a model for the world of the rapid energy system transformation that is possible with a combination of smart policies and innovative business and technology solutions.”

Norway-based Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, is contracting with EirGrid, the Republic’s grid operator, to provide reserve power to the national electricity system specifically in the event of a sudden drop in supply.

“This project continues our growth trajectory while complementing our extensive renewable development plans,” said Kevin O’Donovan, Managing Director for Statkraft Ireland. “The Irish electricity grid is operating successfully with renewable energy levels of up to 65 per cent at any given time, which proves we are not that far away from having a grid system which can be run almost exclusively on renewable energy.”

According to EirGrid, Ireland set a new record of 4000 MW of wind generation, covering 72 per cent of demand across the island in mid-December. However, according to the EirGrid website, the 2030 target of 70 per cent renewables will require the grid to handle about 95 per cent intermittent wind and solar at different times, making energy storage even more essential for system decarbonization.