Northern Ireland energy supply project informed by EngD research

(3 April 2014) - Northern Ireland power generator AES has announced new energy storage plans, with the company's strategy informed by an EngD thesis completed by Marek Kubik. A 100 megawatt battery facility will be built at AES's Kilroot power plant near Carrickfergus, helping the company lower energy costs for consumers, help meet renewable energy targets and improve the flexibility of the local grid.

aengd_261113_037.jpgAES worked with the University of Readings industrial doctorate centre, Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments to sponsor research into management of the balance between conventional generation and renewable wind power. Now employed by AES as a business strategy advisor based at Kilroot, Dr Kubik says:

"My thesis work highlighted the merits of 100MW of energy storage on the Irish system in managing ramping and in relaxing some of the constraints that currently keep conventional generation on and force wind to be curtailed."

According to BBC Northern Ireland the facility could be operational early in 2015. Mark Miller, vice president of AES United Kingdom and Ireland, said he was "convinced that the proposed solution will help Northern Ireland meet policy goals while reducing the cost of energy for electricity customers".

Battery storage facilities work by 'smoothing' the intermittent output from wind and other renewable energy sources. They store power when it is abundant and then feed it into the grid at periods of high demand.