Tesla to bring utility-scale battery system to Ireland

Tesla has announced that the first of its utility-scale Powerpack battery systems will be deployed in Ireland next year, under a new deal with energy storage firm Gaelectric.

The 1MW pilot system will is said to be the first in a series of battery projects designed to help integrate renewable energy sources into the Irish grid.

Tesla said it will also be exploring opportunities for other Tesla Energy products in residential and commercial applications.

A statement from the two companies said: “Ireland has many compelling features for the commercialisation of the Tesla Energy product range given its scale and ambitious renewable energy targets and favourable regulatory framework.”

According to figures released in March, renewable sources supplied around 8% of Ireland’s total energy demand in 2013.

The project in Ireland will reportedly also serve as a launch pad for Tesla to explore opportunities in other European markets.

Renewables growth

Gaelectric CEO Brendan McGrath said: “We are delighted to be associated with Tesla in introducing its battery systems to Ireland.

“As a renewable energy group with a pipeline of 500 MW of wind power in Ireland and energy storage projects in Ireland and Europe, Gaelectric has an obvious incentive to drive the adoption of technologies that facilitate the economic dispatch of wind and other renewable sources.” 

Gaelectric head of energy storage Keith McGrane said the rate of progress in the sector was “truly astounding”.

He added: “Tesla is the vanguard for the revolution that is currently underway.” 

Tesla launched its energy division earlier in May, spearheaded by a new energy storage pack for homes and businesses, known as the PowerwallTesla offers utility-scale storage by grouping together battery blocks, known as powerpacks.

Ireland is trialling other novel forms of energy storage, including a groundbreaking 20MW hybrid flywheel system.

Across the Irish Sea, a recent report estimated that 10GW of energy storage in the UK could cut the cost of decarbonisation by £3.5bn.

Brad Allen

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