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Back to Blog 04 August 2022

Aghada Battery Plant: An important step on the journey to Net Zero

Low Carbon Future

As the world increasingly shifts from fossil fuels to renewable energy, batteries are becoming a vital storage tool to facilitate this transition.

According to the European Commission, battery storage technologies are essential to speed up the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy.

The attractiveness of storage is underpinned by a number of benefits including a more flexible and robust electricity grid that can better adapt to unplanned outages as well as integrate low-carbon generation sources.

Achieving clean electrification by switching the grid to carbon-free sources and moving other energy sectors and services onto the grid is the fastest and cheapest way to decarbonise.


What are battery storage systems?

Battery storage, or battery energy storage systems (BESS), are devices that enable energy from sources like renewables such as solar and wind, to be stored and then released when power is most needed. Intelligent battery software uses algorithms to coordinate energy production, and computerised control systems are used to decide when to keep the energy to provide reserves or release it to the grid.

Energy is released from the battery storage system during times of peak demand, keeping costs down and electricity flowing.


Why is battery storage essential to delivering Net Zero and what are the benefits?

In March 2022, the European Commission presented the REPowerEU Plan. The plan proposed measures for energy saving, diversification of energy supplies, and roll-out of renewable energy to replace fossil fuels in homes, industry and power generation. Battery storage technology is vital to this; ensuring homes and businesses can be powered by green energy, even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind has stopped blowing.

Enabling technologies such as these fast-acting batteries to facilitate ever more onshore wind, offshore wind and solar onto the electricity system to support a clean energy future.


How does ESB’s Aghada battery plant contribute to decarbonisation?

ESB opened a major battery plant at Aghada, Co Cork in July. This battery plant will add 19MW (38MWh) of fast-acting energy storage to help provide grid stability and deliver more renewables to Ireland’s electricity system.

The high-capacity batteries will store excess renewable energy for discharge when required to support the efficient operation of the electricity market. It also incorporates state-of-the-art technology with applications that enable greater reliability, scalability and increased security.

The project was implemented in partnership with Fluence and Irish companies Powercomm Group and Kirby Group. It is the start of four ESB battery storage projects that will include locations such as Inchicore, South Wall and Poolbeg.

ESB’s Aghada site has a longstanding history of innovation, and its variety of efficient generation technologies continue to play a crucial role in achieving net zero emissions. The second phase of the Aghada battery project is scheduled to come on stream in the coming years.

This marks ESB’s first battery projects in Ireland which is another important step on our Net Zero by 2040 journey.

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