Gaelectric investigates compressed air energy storage

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Irish wind energy specialist Gaelectric is set to investigate the feasibility of a compressed air energy storage plant (CAES).

The company claims the £200 million storage facility could hold up to 200MW of energy and reduce the cost of developing wind power in the country.

Gaelectric has applied for a licence to investigate three underground caverns in Larne, County Antrim, which could be used to store energy from local windfarms in the form of compressed air.

Gaelectric's head of offshore energy and energy storage Keith McGrane said: "One of the greatest challenges to unlocking the potential of wind power is to match generation with periods of peak demand."

He added that the firm intends to use compressed air in underground geological caverns in the Larne area to store energy generated from wind.

The excess energy generated during off-peak periods would be released when demand for electricity rises – a process that would "revolutionise renewable power generation", Mr McGrane said.

Meanwhile, turbine manufacturer wpd has submitted a bid for a 1,350MW windfarm project in the UK.

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