First Compressed Gas Energy Storage Facility In UK

The European Union will provide up to 6.5 million euros for the financing of a compressed air energy-storage project near Larne, Northern Ireland.

The project by Gaelectric’s compressed air energy storage (CAES) will store energy as compressed gas within a specially engineered cavern located within a salt deposit. The caves are about 1,500 meters below ground and will span about 300,000 cubic meters. Compressed air energy storage will be used to offset fluctuations in output from power stations, as the compressed gas can be released to drive wind turbines during times of peak energy demand. An estimate of 330 MW of energy could be generated for periods up to six hours.

The company says most of the money will go towards environmental impact assessments and front-end engineering designs for the project. The project has been included in the EU’s Project of Common Interest (PCI) that promotes trans-boundary energy infrastructures. The Larne CAES Project is the only storage PCI in the United Kingdom and the only CAES PCI in Europe.



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