Belfast Telegraph

Co Antrim Gaelectric project gets European backing

By Rachel Martin

A Co Antrim renewable energy project has been awarded €8.28m (£7m) of European funding.

Energy firm Gaelectric - which has offices in Belfast, Dublin, Manchester and Chicago - hopes the 330MW energy storage plant in Larne could have the potential to store enough energy for 200,000 homes for up to eight hours.

The project will use compressed air energy storage technology (CAES) developed by Gaelectric on Islandmagee.

The Larne CAES Project was designated as a European Project of Common Interest in 2013.

Last year it was awarded EU grant support of €6.5m (£5.5m) for front-end engineering and design research.

The Larne project will store energy in compressed air form in specially engineered caverns created within geological salt deposits around 1.5km underground at the northern end of Islandmagee.

It will provide large scale generation capacity to Northern Ireland, helping to integrate electricity generation from renewables and enhance energy security in both the UK and Ireland.

Keith McGrane, head of energy storage at Gaelectric, said:  "The project will provide critical generation capacity of 330MW for periods of up to six to eight hours duration, which is enough to meet the electricity needs of over 200,000 homes."

Belfast Telegraph