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RWE Renewables’ first battery storage project in Europe completed in Ireland

Inside the 8.5MWh RWE Renewables BESS project, Stephenstown, Republic of Ireland. Image: RWE.

RWE Renewables’ first European battery energy storage system (BESS) – an 8.5MWh project – has gone live in Dublin, Ireland.

The battery is set to provide balancing services to the Irish grid to help it integrate increased renewable energy, with a target of 70% of electricity demand to be met by renewables by 2030.

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Located in Stephenstown, Balbriggan, in County Dublin, the battery is the first of two storage facilities RWE will bring online in the country this year.

“The successful completion of our Stephenstown Battery Storage facility marks an important step in the continued growth of RWE Renewables’ expertise across the entire renewables value chain in Europe,” said Katja Wünschel, COO Wind Onshore & Photovoltaic Europe & Asia-Pacific, RWE Renewables.

The Irish battery market has been picking up pace, with Statkraft completing a 26MW project in April and an 11MW site in January, and local developer Lumcloon Energy energising a 100MW battery storage facility in December.

Other companies are looking to expand in the market, with investment fund Gore Street Energy Storage Fund applying to triple its capacity in the Republic of Ireland in November.

In January, Statkraft announced it was to provide market access and trading optimisiation for a total of 68MW of battery storage assets being developed by RWE in Ireland.

According to Solar Media Market Research, project planning activity began in earnest for many projects in 2017 and with build-out having only begun in 2020, there was already a pipeline of 2.5GW of BESS projects at various stages of development across the Island of Ireland as of February. 

“The delivery and operation of this project provides an important opportunity for us to demonstrate the capabilities of battery storage technology and to learn valuable lessons for projects in development,” added Wünschel.

“Strategically, the operation of our first project means that not only are we a leading company in wind and solar power, we have capabilities in battery storage technology that can help safely manage fluctuations in the grid due to the intermittent feed-in of renewable energies.”

Internationally, RWE Renewables has appointed battery technology provider and system integrator Wärtsilä Energy to deliver a 40MW / 80MWh BESS to the developer's largest solar-plus-storage in the US to date, pairing the battery system with a 200MW solar PV plant in Mitchell County, Georgia. The Hickory Park Solar project will use DC-coupled equipment and Wärtsilä's GEMS control platform and software to make the solar farm's generated power dispatchable and simple to integrate into the local grid, selling energy to utility Georgia Power Company, Wärtsilä said earlier this month. 

This story first appeared on Solar Power Portal

Additional reporting for by Andy Colthorpe. 

Project planning activity for new utility-scale energy storage projects in Ireland started to gain traction at the start of 2017, driven by sites with >20MW capacity, Solar Media Market Research analysts said in February. Image: Solar Media Market Research.

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