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ESB Networks announces another milestone as one Giga Watt of energy storage now available on Ireland’s electricity network

  • Large-scale battery energy storage projects and Turlough Hill pumped storage power station combine to reach milestone that can help to provide flexibility and support more renewables on Ireland’s electricity system

Today, ESB Networks has announced that it has 1,000 MW (one Giga Watt) of electricity storage connected to Ireland’s network. This figure includes 731.5 MW of battery storage projects and 292 MW from Turlough Hill pumped storage power station – which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Energy storage facilities are connected across the grid, to both the Transmission and Distribution systems, managed by EirGrid and ESB Networks. 

One Giga Watt of energy storage is enough to power the equivalent of approximately 450,000 homes for one hour, typically during peaks in demand or when frequency support is needed at times of low levels of renewable generation. For context, peak demand on Ireland’s electricity system is approximately 5.5 GW. 

Electricity storage systems such as utility-scale battery projects also provide essential backup services to the grid that help to keep the electricity supply secure, reduces carbon emissions and ultimately reduces costs to the consumer. With a strong pipeline of further energy storage projects, Ireland’s electricity system is becoming more flexible and agile facilitating the greater integration of cheaper renewable wind and solar power necessary to decarbonise the electricity system and meet Ireland’s climate targets.

Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, said: “Ireland is on a journey that will see us reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels in the move to cleaner sources of energy. Energy storage, like the large-scale battery projects we are seeing emerge across the country combined with the technology at sites like ESB’s Turlough Hill, will be crucial to provide more affordable, sustainable electricity and ensuring security of supply. 1 GW is an incredible milestone but the growth in energy storage projects simply must continue for the benefit of all across society and the wider economy to allow us to effectively balance our new, homegrown supply of clean electricity.”

Nicholas Tarrant, Managing Director of ESB Networks, commented on the importance of this on the country’s journey to net zero: “This really is a significant milestone for us at ESB Networks and our partners involved in connecting one Giga Watt of energy storage to Ireland’s electricity network. The figure includes sites like ESB’s Turlough Hill hydroelectric station but what we have seen in recent years is a major push by the wider industry to deliver large-scale battery energy storage projects that we have been able to support through network connections. As this will no doubt continue, we at ESB Networks are proud to be playing our part in helping to deliver the infrastructure required on the journey to a net zero future where clean sources of electricity backed by flexible storage options will be the cornerstone of a cleaner electricity system for Ireland.” 

Bobby Smith, Head of Energy Storage Ireland, remarked: “Energy storage is a key enabler of our clean energy future, and this achievement is a big step on that journey. Our members are delivering the energy storage projects alongside ESB Networks that are needed to reduce the use of fossil fuels and drive down energy prices while ensuring a secure, stable electricity system. The energy storage industry is ready to help deliver on Ireland’s net-zero ambitions.”