New storage system for wind energy could increase installed capacity on national grid

Dublin, Ireland, April 4, 2007 — Sustainability Energy Ireland (SEI) has published the results of a feasibility study for the implementation of a wind energy storage facility at Sorne Hill Wind Farm, Buncrana, Co. Donegal. The analysis into the feasibility of using an energy storage system said such a system could guarantee an uninterrupted supply of wind generated electricity to the national grid, improve the efficiency of the energy produced and remove financial risk.

The study, which was jointly funded by SEI and Tapbury Management Ltd., which oversees the management of Sorne Hill Windfarm, examined the integration of a battery storage system with a 6MW wind farm. The purpose of the report was to determine the optimum size for such a system in order to deliver an optimum return on investment, and to review the main benefits that the system could offer. The report concluded that the optimum battery is a 2MW capacity battery delivering 6 hours of electricity storage.

Commenting on the feasibility study, David Taylor, chief executive, SEI, said “Ireland possesses a wind resource that is one of the best in Western Europe. In order to exploit this, SEI is supporting the development of strategically important technologies which will enable Ireland to use large amounts of wind power reliably.”

The storage technology, a Vanadium Redox Battery Energy Storage System (VRB-ESS) from Canadian company VRB Power Systems Inc., is designed to allow wind energy generated at off-peak times to be stored and supplied to the grid at a scheduled time. The energy storage system has the potential to increase the reliability of wind energy supply and thereby reduce the cost of the reserve requirements from electricity generation plants, said the study. Batteries such as these can also be used to maximize the wind intensity in rural regions by providing high quality power output and storing excess wind power for later release. In this way increased wind penetration can be achieved more rapidly by deferring the cost of grid upgrades. The battery may therefore generate additional income for the wind farm by correcting power imbalances, providing premium power quality, delivering an energy trading service and providing grid ancillary services in the Single Electricity Market, said the study.

John Ward, director of Tapbury Management said “The feasibility report provides for the first time an initial technical and economic validation for a number of the key revenue streams that we had previously identified in relation to the integration of wind power and storage.”

For a copy of the feasibility study visit www.sei.ie.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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