Iberdrola launches the world's first commercial-scale battery system in Ireland

  • With a capacity of 50MW/25MWh megawatts, it is the first battery of its kind in operation in the country 
  • The Iberdrola group will develop 1,100 MW of battery storage in the coming years

Iberdrola has started up its first commercial-scale battery system in Ireland. This 50-megawatt (MW) facility with 25MWh of power capacity, called Gorman, is also the first renewable project built by the company in Ireland in more than 25 years.

Located in County Meath, in the east of Ireland, the system is made up of more than 4,000 modules in 16 containers, which occupy an area the size of a football pitch. The project, the first of its kind in Ireland, required an investment of 28 million euros. 

Its commissioning marks the culmination of the main initiative of the DS3 programme developed by Ireland's two transmission grid operators - EirGrid and SONI - to reinforce the grid in the face of increased renewable generation. Specifically, the Gorman battery will serve EirGrid for six years, contributing to the security and sustainability of the Irish electricity grid and the achievement of the Irish Government's 2050 emissions neutrality target. 

The company plans to expand this storage system in the future to double its capacity to 100 MW.

Storage systems are key to addressing the challenge of the energy transition and are set to become an essential element in the electricity system because they improve the quality of electricity supply, ensure grid stability and reliability by balancing supply and demand, and guarantee the availability of additional green power when needed.

Commitment to storage 

Energy storage is one of the Iberdrola group's strategic commitments for the coming years. The company has already secured a global battery capacity of 193 MW. This technology will increase significantly in the future, with a portfolio of 1,100 MW. Of these, 900 MW correspond to initiatives in the United Kingdom; 100 MW to projects in Spain and Portugal and another 100 MW to installations in Australia.

The company also maintains its commitment to storage through electric pumping, where Iberdrola is the leader with an installed capacity of close to 4,500 MW, in projects such as Cortes-La Muela (Valencia) - the largest installation of these characteristics in Europe - and the Tâmega complex under construction in Portugal. 

This gigabattery represents an investment of more than €1.5 billion, and includes the construction of three dams and three power plants (Gouvães - which has already been commissioned -, Daivões and Alto Tâmega) with a combined capacity of 1,158 MW. This large renewable infrastructure will have enough storage capacity to serve two million Portuguese households for an entire day. The complex will contribute 880 MW of pumping capacity to the Portuguese electricity system, an increase of more than 30% over the megawatts of pumping currently available.

Ireland, a platform for renewable growth

Ireland is one of the Iberdrola group's main platforms for growth in renewables. The company has plans to develop 3,000 MW of offshore wind projects in Ireland, together with DP Energy. 

These are the Inis Ealga floating offshore wind farms off the south coast of Co. Cork and Clarous off the west coast of Co. Clare, and the Shelmalere fixed foundation offshore wind farm off the east coast of Ireland. Each of these projects will have an installed capacity of 1,000 MW, enough to jointly supply more than 2.8 million homes with clean energy.

The Iberdrola group plans to invest up to €100 million in new onshore renewable and storage projects in Ireland by 2025. Iberdrola's initiatives in Ireland include the repowering and hybridisation with batteries of the Barnesmore wind farm in County Donegal (Ireland), Rigged Hill, Corkey, Elliots Hill and Callagheen in Northern Ireland. 

The company's sustainable growth strategy based on promoting the electrification of the economy through investment in renewable energies, electricity grids and energy storage has enabled it to become a global energy leader and the first in its sector in Europe by capitalisation, with a stock market value of around €70 billion.