Northern Ireland’s battery storage network to increase by 50MW – providing energy security, jobs and local investment.
The site has been announced in County Tyrone
Leading renewable energy investment and asset management company Low Carbon, in partnership with Gore Street Energy Storage Fund, has today announced the energisation of their jointly owned and operated battery storage site at Drumkee, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.
The state-of-the-art facility will be the largest energy storage project in Northern Ireland and will use cutting edge Lithium-Ion technology to serve the Single Electricity Market with a capacity of 50MW.
Armagh-based Mullavilly, a second 50MW project in Northern Ireland, is expected to be energised in December. Both Drumkee and Mullavilly are expected to be commissioned and operational in Q1 2021.
Northern Ireland represents a highly attractive market with a stated need for energy storage technology. Battery storage allows power from excess generation to be stored on the grid to meet energy demand and bolster the availability of renewable energy needed to help Northern Ireland meet its ambitious decarbonisation targets.
Several companies were involved in helping to bring the project through to successful completion including SONI, Northern Ireland Electricity Networks, NEC Energy Storage Solutions, G2 Energy and SMA.
The project has contributed to local job creation, employing local tradesmen and contractors wherever possible, and ensuring community engagement throughout the construction and operational phases. The majority of the workforce on the site is from the local area and local businesses have played a role in the development including County Tyrone’s Ross Planning and Adman Civil Projects Ltd. which respectively undertook planning work and subcontracting as well as Antrim-based Project Design Engineers Ltd. supporting with construction oversight.
This commitment showcases Low Carbon’s dedication to balancing profit and purpose and goes to show why they were the first SME to join the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group last month.
Despite the closure of the site for several weeks during the Covid-19 pandemic and stringent social distancing measurements upon the reopening of the site, the project was completed in line with their original timeline.
Speaking of this announcement, Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive and Founder of Low Carbon said:
“This landmark project will increase Northern Ireland’s battery storage network by 50MW and forms part of Low Carbon’s pledge to deliver renewable energy at scale. Often overlooked, battery storage paves the way for a renewable-powered future. With an advanced pipeline of more than 4GW, enough to power 1.2 million homes, we look forward to building on this commitment and working with more organisations, such as Gore Street Energy Storage Fund, on the journey to climate neutrality”.
Alex O’Cinneide, CEO of Gore Street Capital, the Company’s investment manager, commented:
“We are delighted to announce the energisation of Drumkee, the largest energy storage asset on the national electricity grid, an important milestone for local climate change goals. Both this asset and Mullavilly which remains anticipated to be energised in December, may benefit from an attractive DS3 contracts and should therefore yield an attractive return. Gore Street has always had an active approach to managing our portfolio assets with a pipeline of projects under development. We believe this asset demonstrates the Gore Street’s sector leading expertise in the process of taking an important project through the complex development cycle to energisation, creating local jobs, developing critical grid infrastructure and generating value for our shareholders.”
Alan Campbell SONI Managing Director (Interim) & Head of Infrastructure Projects, said;
“The energisation of these battery storage sites is testament to a superb, coordinated team effort in support of Northern Ireland’s ambitious 2030 renewable energy targets. We look forward to more infrastructure projects of this nature as they help increase greater integration of renewable energy on to the grid; enhance the security of supply for the public whilst providing a much needed boost to the economy.”
Brian Moorhead, Connections Interface Manager for NIE Networks, said;
“The energisation of these innovative energy storage sites will make a significant contribution to helping Northern Ireland reach a decarbonised future. We are very proud to have played our part through delivering the grid infrastructure and connections required, especially within such a tight timescale and with the additional challenges brought by the pandemic. Projects like these are critical to the economic recovery of Northern Ireland and we are looking forward to facilitating further green investment through similar projects in the future.”
The project forms part of the deal announced on 5 June 2019 where Gore Street Energy Storage Fund (GSF) acquired 51% of the special purpose vehicles that own a 160 MW portfolio of projects in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland from Low Carbon, which retains the remaining 49%.
About Low Carbon
Low Carbon is a leading renewable energy investment and asset management company committed to the development and operation of renewable energy at scale. Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar PV, wind, energy storage, waste-to-energy and energy efficiency. Low Carbon, a certified B Corp, has a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets and remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties. The team is actively engaged in the UK and European waste-to-energy market and with a renewable energy pipeline of more than 4GW, they are well-positioned to capitalise on opportunities as the need for renewable energy and energy security increases.
About Gore Street Energy Storage Fund plc (“Gore Street” or “GSF”)
Gore Street is London’s first listed energy storage fund and seeks to provide Shareholders with a significant opportunity to invest in a diversified portfolio of utility scale energy storage projects. In addition to growth through exploiting its considerable pipeline, the Company aims to deliver consistent and robust dividend yield as income distributions to its Shareholders. The Company targets an annual dividend of 7.0% of NAV per Ordinary Share in each financial year, subject to a minimum target of 7.0 pence per Ordinary Share. Dividends are paid quarterly. https://www.gsenergystoragefund.com
Mullavilly and Drumkee Project
Gore Street acquired a 51% interest in Mullavilly and Drumkee from Low Carbon in 2019. GSF is funding all required capex via shareholder loan and carrying a 10/9% interest rate. Once the shareholder loan if fully paid, GSF will split the excess profit the 49% with the developer Low Carbon. Both Projects anticipate revenues from the “DS3” or “Delivery Secure Sustainable Electricity System” Programme as well as the Irish Capacity Remuneration Mechanism and wholesale revenues (the latter, after the end of DS3 services).