Irish-based renewable energy company Gaelectric wants to build a £300m compressed air energy storage (CAES) facility on the outskirts of Larne.
Compressed air would be stored deep underground in caverns specifically created for this purpose within geological salt layers. Energy is stored during periods of low enery demand for use during later periods of higher demand. The removal of salt from the creation of the caverns would produce a by-product known as brine, which would then be pumped into the sea through a pipeline.
The proposed project is to be located at Carnduff, 1.5km south of the town. Larne is the only place on the island of Ireland with salt deposits suitable to create CAES caverns, and detailed seismic data indicates that Carnduff has salt at just the right depth and thickness.
Up to 300 jobs will be created during the construction phase, which will take around two years to complete. Once commissioned the facility will provide full time employment opportunities to between 40 to 50 people.
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