Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, has completed the construction of its second large-scale battery project in Ireland.

The Kelwin-2 26MW battery project is located in Tarbert in Co. Kerry.

The Norwegian utility entered a contract with EirGrid and has commenced providing reserves to the national electricity grid in the event of a sudden drop-off in supply.

Decarbonisation of energy network

Statkraft Ireland managing director, Kevin O’Donovan, said:

“We are delighted to have completed construction of our second battery project just one year after we energised Kilathmoy, the first large-scale battery built in Ireland.

“During three grid capacity alerts in January, our battery at Kilathmoy stepped up to the plate and was able to generate active power in critical periods to support the grid.

“On numerous occasions over the past year, the unit has also responded to short-term frequency drops to inject electricity into the national grid in a fraction of one second.

“Irish batteries are providing the fastest active power reserves responses anywhere in the world today.”

He added that the decarbonisation of the energy network is going to need increased battery capacity in order to provide grid stability and ensure smooth integration of renewables.

The main purpose of the battery is not to store bulk wind generation, but to respond instantly to the electrical frequency fluctuations that result from increasing amounts of intermittent power generation.

Similar to Statkraft’s 11MW Kilathmoy project which began operation in April 2020, Kelwin-2 is also a hybrid site where the battery shares a grid connection with a wind farm.

Share of electricity demand met by onshore wind

Ireland is number one in the world for the share of electricity demand met by onshore wind.

According to Wind Energy Ireland, in 2020, wind energy met a record 36.3% of Ireland’s electricity demand – the world’s highest for onshore wind.

In Q1 of 2020 and again Q4 of 2020, wind energy provided more electricity than natural gas across a full quarter for the first time ever.