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AES’ ‘energy modernisation’ agreement with Northern Ireland includes 100MW of energy storage

President of AES UK & Ireland Ian Luney joins David Small from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to celebrate the signing of a Prosperity Agreement between the two organisations. Source: Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

The UK and Ireland subsidiary of the Virginia-headquartered AES Corporation has signed an agreement with a Northern Irish government agency to build a 100MW battery storage array.

Alongside new utility-scale storage, the agreement – signed with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) – aims to deliver a range of environmental benefits over the next five years including reduced carbon emissions and improved biodiversity.

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The 100MW storage array will feature the company’s signature Advancion energy storage platform and may be added to AES’ existing 10MW Kilroot installation in Carrickfergus that was completed in January 2016. Equally, AES said, the 100MW could be deployed at the Ballylumford natural gas power station in Country Antrim, or split between Kilroot and Ballylumford.

The mammoth 100MW array is set to displace 123,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Speaking at the signing event at the Kilroot Power Station, NIEA chief executive David Small said: “This is the fifth prosperity agreement the NIEA has now signed with high performing Northern Ireland businesses.

“Each agreement enshrines a company’s commitment to a sustainable future for its business and the Northern Ireland environment. The agreement with AES contains some key targets which will help the energy generation sector’s transition to greater use of renewable and low carbon solutions.

“We believe these prosperity agreements are a useful regulatory tool which helps NIEA to work strategically with business. They also help companies to maintain excellent compliance with their obligations and to look for new commercial opportunities with environmental benefits.”

Also speaking at today’s signing, AES UK & Ireland president Ian Luney said: “As a company, we are delighted to be signing this agreement with NIEA which recognises the positive relationship we have built with the regulator and enables us to reach for even more aspirational environmental targets.

“A partnership approach such as this can help businesses to address the step changes which are needed to respond to the challenges of climate change, resource efficiency and support Northern Ireland’s economic growth.

“With last year’s installation of the Kilroot Advancion Energy Storage Array, AES is leading the way in promoting and supporting sustainable technological solutions for energy management and power generation and we look forward to seeing the actions outlined in the agreement bear fruit.”

Upon completion, the array, whether an extension of Kilroot or not, will constitute the largest battery energy storage array in the UK. 

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