The project will not go ahead unless Ireland alters its current regime to allow for the specific type of ‘triple threat’ grid connection.
Energy company SSE Renewables has said it is planning to develop a solar farm and a battery energy storage system in Co Wexford.
The company already has an 18 turbine wind farm, called Richfield Wind Farm, at Bridgetown in Wexford. It wants to purposely ‘co-locate’ the battery energy storage system and the solar farm near the wind farm.
The wind farm has been operating in the area since 2006. The proposed battery energy storage system will be adjacent to the existing substation at the wind farm, while the solar farm will be in the nearby townlands of Hooks and Yoletown.
The two planned projects will be connected to the grid via the wind farm’s substation, which will potentially require upgrade works.
However, the project will not go ahead unless Ireland alters its current grid connection consenting regime to allow for this type of hybrid technology grid connection.
Heather Donald, onshore renewables development and construction director at SSE Renewables said the plan was part of the company’s strategy of “taking action” to “deliver the clean energy the world needs right now”.
“At Richfield in County Wexford we’ve identified an ideal opportunity, located in Ireland’s ‘sunny south east,’ to further explore how we can co-locate solar, battery and wind farm technology to realise our full homegrown renewable energy potential.”
The proposed development would be able to generate new solar power for immediate use, while also storing surplus renewable energy in a battery storage system for use whenever it is needed.
Co-locating three energy sources will also increase the company’s ability to export greater levels of renewable energy output to the national grid.
“Innovative projects such as this can really deliver for Ireland’s climate goals,” Donald added. “And while some regulatory hurdles still need to be overcome to allow for hybrid grid connections, we’re ready at SSE Renewables to work closely with key government and regulatory stakeholders so that we can remove any remaining barriers and support the delivery of important solar and battery technology projects co-located at wind farm sites.”
As part of its strategy to see the project through, the company has begun public consultations with the people in Wexford. It is holding an event at the Stella Maris Centre, Kilmore Quay in Wexford, for locals to find out more about the proposed development. The event is open to members of the public from 3pm to 8pm on Thursday 26 January.
Following the public consultation process, SSE Renewables will submit an application for planning permission to Wexford County Council.
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