ESB and energy storage experts Fluence have today (30th Sept 21) announced details of a 75 MW / 150 MWh energy storage solution at ESB’s plant in Poolbeg in Dublin and a 30 MW / 60 MWh project at a second ESB plant at South Wall in Dublin. The Poolbeg battery is the largest by energy capacity signed in the EU. Coupled with ESB / Fluence projects already underway at Inchicore, Dublin, and Aghada, Co Cork, the 308 MWh fleet also represents the largest total energy storage portfolio transaction in Europe. When completed, the portfolio will have the capacity to power approximately 321,000 homes and businesses in Ireland at times of peak demand.
The Fluence projects are ESB’s first major battery projects and mark a step change in the scale of stored energy capacity. The 38 MWh Aghada and 60 MWh Inchicore systems are due for completion in early 2022. The addition of 150 MWh at Poolbeg and 60 MWh at South Wall, which are due for completion in early 2023, provides battery storage of scale for Dublin. All four projects are two-hour duration systems, enabling them to replace many of the grid services that would otherwise be powered by fossil fuels. Previously, operational battery-based energy storage systems in Ireland have been short duration and capable of providing full power for 30 minutes or less. Such short-duration assets are primarily tasked with providing corrections of supply and demand imbalances for seconds or minutes at a time (for instance when a power station unexpectedly trips offline).
A joint venture of Siemens and the AES Corporation, Fluence provides battery energy storage products and services, and digital applications for renewables and storage assets. It delivers large-scale energy storage solutions to integrate renewable energy to the grid, enhance transmission and distribution services, and provide numerous other critical grid services. Fluence’s integrated hardware and software is technology-agnostic, sourcing batteries and system components from a diverse global supply chain to deliver the best battery-based solution for each customer’s needs. Fluence’s strong presence in Europe, including regional headquarters and a lab in Germany, makes the company a preferred technology provider for utilities, IPPs, transmission system operators and financiers in the region.
Commenting, president for Fluence Europe, Middle East and Africa Paul McCusker said: “This is a key year for Ireland’s 70×30 climate ambitions. Fluence already has a close to 100MWh portfolio of projects with the ESB, and we are delighted to add to that with the Poolbeg and South Wall energy storage solutions. These projects represent a leap forward in terms of reliability for the electricity system and will quickly add much needed flexible capacity in the constrained Dublin area.”
Fluence Managing Director, Dr. Marek Kubik added: “Batteries are the digital power plants of the future, swiftly replacing the analog power plants that ran on fossil fuels. As the first truly digital asset on the electricity grid, battery energy storage enables a high degree of stability for intermittent resources, along with a high degree of control for overall grid reliability. They can be built quickly and cost-effectively to provide the requisite flexible, critical capacity needed to keep Ireland’s economy humming.”
Head of Asset Development at ESB Generation Trading, Paul Smith added: “ESB is very excited to be partnering with Fluence in delivering our first battery portfolio of scale onto the Irish grid. This new battery capacity is an example of ESB’s commitment to developing renewables-enabling projects consistent with our Brighter Future Strategy, leading the transition to reliable, affordable low carbon energy. We look forward to working with our partners to safely progress these projects over the coming 18 months.”
Fluence, a Siemens and AES company, is a global market leader in energy storage products and services and digital applications for renewables and storage. We have more than 3.4 GW of energy storage deployed or contracted in 29 markets globally, and more than 4.5 GW of wind, solar and storage assets optimized or contracted in Australia and California. Through our products, services and AI-enabled Fluence IQ platform, we are helping customers around the world drive more resilient electric grids and a more sustainable future.
ESB operates across the electricity market: from generation, through transmission and distribution to the supply of customers with an expanding presence in the British generation and supply market. In addition, we create further value through supplying gas, energy services and using our networks to carry fibre for telecommunications. ESB is the owner of the distribution and transmission networks in the Republic of Ireland (via ESB Networks) and Northern Ireland (via Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Ltd). In H1 2021 it had a 33% share of generation in the all-island market (via ESB Generation and Trading) and a 36% share of electricity supply in the all-island market (via Electric Ireland) with 1.5 million gas and electricity customer accounts.