Taoiseach, Michéal Martin.

Taoiseach set to launch new energy project in Shannonbridge

A state-of-the-art facility in Shannonbridge to help stabilise the electricity grid and respond to demands arising from the move to greater renewables will be launched this morning by Taoiseach, Michéal Martin.

When completed, the new ‘Shannonbridge B’ grid stability plant will provide an additional 170MWh of hybrid capacity to the national electricity grid.

The €130m project will involve approximately 150 jobs over a two year construction phase and support 15 jobs on completion.

The sod-turning ceremony is set to take place at 11.30am today (Tuesday). Speakers include Minister Pippa Hackett, Mark Foley, CEO EirGrid and local TD Barry Cowen.

Developed by Lumcloon Energy (Ireland) and Hanwha Energy (Korea), the new hybrid facility will, for the first time, combine a long duration battery with a synchronous condenser, to more efficiently meet the changing needs of the power system as the level of renewables (wind and solar) increases.

Batteries can deliver very rapid frequency response, reserve and ramping services, while synchronous condensers provide low carbon inertia, all of which are required to react to any sudden loss in electricity supply or surge in demand.

Both features are required to enable renewables to displace conventional generators as the primary source of our electricity. Vitally, they also support greater energy independence, given the immense threats emerging to our electricity supplies as a result of current international developments.

Prior to turning the first sod on the project, An Taoiseach Michéal Martin said that the government is currently fully focused and committed to addressing both immediate needs and future sustainability of electricity supplies to homes and businesses alike.

“I am delighted that this highly innovative project will be constructed here in Ireland, by Lumcloon Energy and its Korean partner, Hanwha Energy.

“In recent months the very real impacts of climate change, Russia’s immoral war on Ukraine and the collective European response have demonstrated the need to make urgent progress on the move away from fossil fuels.

“This project exemplifies the type of infrastructure that we need to aid the decarbonisation of our electricity sector and support security of supply at this critical time.”

Nigel Reams, Managing Director of Lumcloon Energy, said: “We are focused on accelerating the decarbonisation of the Irish energy sector. We develop projects which increase the stability and reliability of the power grid and provide essential back up to support renewables. Shannonbridge B is another major step in the right direction for Ireland’s power grid and will facilitate the increasing amount of renewables on the system.”

Tullamore-based Lumcloon Energy, has been at the forefront of battery energy storage systems (BESS) in Ireland over the past decade. In partnership with Korea’s Hanwha, Lumcloon Energy has deployed a 200MW battery storage portfolio in Offaly.

This comprises two 100MW short duration battery facilities at Lumcloon and Shannonbridge. These projects have been in operation since mid-2021, and are providing essential system services to enhance the stability and reliability of the power system.

The company also plans to deliver a new 275MW reserve gas power plant near Rochfortbridge, in Westmeath, which will commence construction later this year.

Construction of the ‘Shannonbridge B’ facility is due to commence later this year with operation planned for late 2024.

Hanwha CEO, Mr In-Sub Jung, said that investment in energy infrastructure is our specialty at Hanwha Energy.

"We are excited to be involved with this innovative new project. We welcome the opportunity to help Ireland with the decarbonisation of its power system and are looking forward to adding an additional €130 million to our existing investments in the country.”