Wind energy store plans for Portlaoise

Planning application made for battery storage facility at Clonminam

Wind energy store plans for Portlaoise
By Ryan Dunne ryan@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

Clonminam Business Park could be the site of a new battery storage facility for the containment of renewable energy obtained from wind turbines.

In an application to Laois County Council, Gaelectric Energy Storage Ltd claims that the construction of an electrical substation in the local business park will “help to maintain the long term stability of the electricity system in Ireland…. and its deployment in Portlaoise will be a positive signal for future development in the town”.

The operation will be a battery storage facility with a single storey electrical substation of some 60msq, along with a hardstanding area for external battery equipment, as well as signs, fencing and a security gate, at the Midlands Container Depot Ltd, Clonminam Business Park, Knockmay, Portlaoise.

In a report submitted to the council on behalf of the applicant by GES Planning, it is claimed that Gaelectric Holdings PLC, founded 2004, have become “a leading independent developer and operator of renewable energy projects in wind, bioenergy and solar on the island of Ireland and in Great Britain”.

The company proposes developing a grid-level battery storage facility, which will house batteries which can generate power for up to a number of hours.

It says that the development will contribute towards the DS3 Programme devised by Eirgrid and SONI, which has projected a target of 40% of all electricity consumed to come from renewable sources by 2020.

“With its isolated electricity system and market, the island of Ireland faces numerous challenges as a result of its rapidly increasing wind penetration,” says the company.

The applicant says that there are no residential dwellings within 300m of the site and claim that noise from battery equipment will only occur when the battery is operational and will therefore be “intermittent”.

Maintenance staff only will be required for the plant.

The application also describes Clonminam as “the industry and business hub for Portlaoise with a total of 200 companies located there”.

A decision is due on the planning application from Laois County Council by June 27.