Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Plans revealed for £300m wind energy storage facility
16 May 2013

Plans are underway for a facility in Northern Ireland to store surplus energy from wind turbines. The project is the work of Dublin-based Gaelectric Holdings, which is seeking to form partnerships with infrastructure investors to raise £300 million ($456m). The facility is to be built near Larne, County Antrim, to service Gaelecric's recently opened wind farm in nearby Carn Hill.

The purpose of the Larne venture is to overcome the problem of intermittency, which has always imposed limitations on the output of renewable generators such as wind and solar. The technology used in the plant will utilise excess electricity from the turbines to compress air, which will be stored in salt caverns 80 m below the ground. When demand is high, the air, with a boost from natural gas, will drive a turbine to generate extra power.