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Ireland gets first Tesla Powerpack, England’s first is officially opened by energy minister

Camborne's Dan Taylor, minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Tesla's Edward Sargent and Poweri's Chris Roberts. Image: Baroness Neville-Rolfe via Twitter.
Ireland’s first Tesla Powerpack commercial-scale energy storage system has been installed successfully recently, while England’s first was officially opened with a visit from a government minister on Wednesday.

Offices of healthcare devices maker Boston Scientific in Galway, Ireland, have been fitted with 100kW/190kWh of lithium-ion battery-based energy storage from Tesla in a project executed by Kingspan ESB, which is a joint undertaking by the renewable energy development arm of Kingspan, a maker of insulation and building fabric, and ESB, the Irish electricity supplier.

The project is one of a number of projects part-funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, which paid €183,317.85 (US$197,900) of the installation’s total €407,373.40 cost as part of a wider programme, RD&D (research development and demonstration). The programme also includes biomass, heat pump and various other technologies which are part or full funded by the government authority.

Boston Scientific’s numerous manufacturing sites and offices around the world have been fitted with sustainable energy projects, including a site in Coyol, Cost Rica which is being equipped with PV and 4MW of battery storage, and a megawatt-scale rooftop PV installation in Quincy, Massachusetts. The Galway Powerpack project will likely be complemented with a proposed 160kW of PV.

Fergus Sharkey, general manager at Kingspan said a lot of detail around the project remains confidential, but confirmed that the batteries will help integrate local renewable energy and provide grid services, known by the term DS3 services in the parlance of Ireland’s grid operator, Eirgrid.

We've installed Ireland's first @TeslaMotors Powerpack battery in Galway with support from @SEAI_ie RD&D programme— Kingspan ESB (@KingspanESB) November 30, 2016

Meanwhile, over the sea in England, what is thought to have been the first Tesla Powerpack project in Europe when it was completed in September was given the official seal of government approval yesterday.

Baroness Neville Rolfe, the UK’s energy minister, visited the 500kWh system in Somerset, in the relatively solar-rich west of England and met with the heads of EPC provider Poweri Systems and developer/financier Camborne Energy Storage to give it a formal opening ceremony. Also in attendance was Tesla UK manager Edward Sargent.

The Somerset project is co-located with a 500kWp solar farm and was emphatically described as a commercial project and not a demonstration by Poweri’s Chris Roberts. It will provide firm frequency response (FFR) for the grid and allow for integration of solar and wind.

“We welcome this exciting project from Tesla and Camborne. Innovation in storage technologies will help manage our electricity grid more efficiently, support greater energy security and, crucially, drive down consumer bills,” Baroness Neville-Rolfe said.

“Our upcoming industrial Strategy will build on this work further, working with businesses to ensure the UK continues to be at the forefront of low-carbon technology, creating the conditions for future success.”

While the UK’s government has over the past year or so stripped back support for renewables, it has also recently issued a ‘call for evidence’ on reforming its energy system to be a ‘smarter’ one. Asking for stakeholder input on issues including the integration of energy storage, the industry appears to have welcomed the short window given to it to help inform the government and regulator Ofgem on policy.

Poweri and Camborne on developing - and financing - energy storage in the UK

'Every commercial storage project will be different' - Poweri's Chris Roberts

Why storage financing is more complex than solar or wind - Dan Taylor of Camborne Energy Storage

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