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Power firm AES completes storage facility at Kilroot

How the Kilroot array's interior unit will look
Gary McDonald Business Editor

POWER company AES has completed work on a new 10 megawatts energy storage facility - or 'array' - at Kilroot power station near Carrickfergus in what it claims will enhance the reliability of the north's grid.

The array, due to be formally opened next month, uses more than 53,000 batteries, arranged in 136 separate nodes, and is the first step towards a planned 100MW energy storage array adjacent to Kilroot.

AES UK & Ireland said the array uses the Advancion 4 energy storage solution and aims to enhance grid reliability by providing fast response ancillary services, such as frequency regulation.

“With more efficient balancing of supply and demand, energy storage will lower costs to consumers, unlock the value of existing renewables, and improve the security of supply,” AES said.

AES energy storage president John Zahurancik said: “As the UK and Ireland look for innovative ways to strengthen the electric grid while reducing costs and system-wide emissions, we’re pleased to deliver Advancion as a part of that solution.”

Separately, Innovate UK Energy Catalyst is providing funding, in partnership with Queen’s University, to demonstrate the full capabilities of energy storage by analysing the impact of this array.

The consortium includes also includes SONI, NIE Networks and the Utility Regulator.

Robin McCormick, general manager of SONI, said: “Integrating battery storage solutions onto the system is an important development which should bring real benefits to customers across the island.

"As the transmission system operator, this innovation provides a significant learning opportunity.

"We will assess the role that battery storage will play in the increasingly diverse portfolio of generation sources, as we continue to ensure a safe, secure, reliable and cost efficient electricity supply throughout Northern Ireland.”

Later this year Queen’s will publish an independent report on the potential of the technology to benefit the all-island electricity market.

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