ISIF to invest €10m in Irish assets of London energy fund

Gore Street has 30 megawatt battery storage located in counties Kildare and Wexford

A key benefit of the facilities is that they can store power that is generated by wind farms.

A key benefit of the facilities is that they can store power that is generated by wind farms.

 

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) is to invest €10 million in Gore Street, a London-based energy fund with Irish assets in Co Kildare and Co Wexford.

ISIF said the investment was driven by the “significant positive progress” made by the company on the delivery of its battery storage assets in Ireland.

The €10 million investment is part of a potential €30 million investment commitment.

Gore Street’s Irish assets, which are 30 megawatts each, are located at Portersdown, near Kill in Co Kildare, and Kilmannock, near New Ross in Co Wexford.

Both assets successfully secured six-year revenue contracts in EirGrid’s first ever competitive auction for battery storage held last month.

ISIF’s investment will be used to part-fund about 40 per cent of the capital expenditure required to complete the projects in full. The assets are expected to be fully operational in 2021.

The company also has two energy storage assets, in Co Tyrone and Co Armagh, adding an additional 100 megawatts to its island of Ireland portfolio.

Under the ownership structure of these assets, the company owns a controlling interest in the assets acquired from renewable energy development company, Low Carbon.

System stress

ISIF said the company’s Irish assets are primarily used to store power for release when needed, particularly during periods of electricity system stress, a function traditionally provided for by fossil fuel burning plants.

The batteries provide a carbon-free solution that is increasingly required as higher levels of power are contributed by wind farms, and the Republic seeks to decarbonise its electricity grid.

ISIF said the business case for battery storage facilities “improves” as the State generates more and more of its power from renewable sources such as wind farms.

Key benefit

A “key benefit” of these facilities is that they can store power that is generated by wind farms at times when this power is not required by end users.

This prevents a situation where a wind farm would generate power that cannot be used or where a wind farm would need to be temporarily deactivated.

ISIF senior investment director Paul Saunders said the investment fund was keen to play its part in the transition to a low carbon economy.

“That will mean thinking differently and doing things differently,” he said. “Backing energy storage to enable greater renewable penetration is a great example of taking meaningful action to reduce carbon emissions.

“ISIF supports this project because it makes sense commercially and it makes sense for our environment. ISIF will continue to look for investments that help to reduce Ireland’s carbon footprint.”