Dingle Peninsula to be used as test area for renewable electricity projects
ESB Networks testing home battery storage in move to ‘future proof’ energy needs
The Dingle pilot project is part of a €4.8bn scheme to transform the national grid, and it supports the use of 300,000 electric vehicles and electric heating for 330,000 by 2030. Photograph: Getty Images
A vision of how our electricity supply might work in the future is to be unveiled on the Dingle Peninsula in Co Kerry on Tuesday morning.
ESB Networks is to deploy a range of technologies, including smart metering and battery storage, to almost 5,000 homes, farms and businesses in an attempt to “future proof” energy needs as energy generation moves to a low-carbon future.
The Dingle pilot project is part of a €4.8 billion scheme to transform the national grid, and it supports the use of 300,000 electric vehicles and electric heating for 330,000 by 2030.
The peninsula is also subject to extreme weather posed by the Atlantic , which makes Dingle very useful in testing the resilience of any new technologies
The €4.8 billion capital and operational investment has already begun, and is due to be completed over the next two years.
As a major pilot project, ESB Networks said it hoped to use as many as possible of its 4,700 customers on the Dingle Peninsula to test features such as renewable power and the electrification of heat and transport – sectors which currently account for 35 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions.
It is hoped that trials of renewable energies and technologies will provide valuable insights given the variations in population numbers in Dingle during the summer and winter seasons. This variation in electricity demand places particular demands on the network on the peninsula.
The peninsula is also subject to extreme weather posed by the Atlantic , which makes Dingle very useful in testing the resilience of any new technologies, according to ESB Networks.
Some 20 homes in Dingle have already agreed to be a test bed for a new storage technology, it was announced last December. The StoreNet project, which is also supported by ESB Networks, will support the use of variable renewable energy supplies such as wind, as well as “smart” connections to the Irish electricity grid.
StoreNet will install residential batteries – slightly larger than a fuse box – which will store energy for use within homes at peak times, thereby reducing pressure on the grid.
Brian Ryan, head of customer innovation at Electric Ireland, said: “With battery storage in domestic installations at a very early stage, this project will provide an in-depth understanding of the application of battery technology, and will provide critical data for possible future battery applications.”
ESB Networks said it saw Dingle as “a demonstration town for new technology and communication projects, and will offer great insight into how battery storage can be utilised into the future for the benefit of customers and ESB Networks”.
It said projects such as battery storage in customers’ premises allowed the newwork operator to access a “virtual power plant” without the high costs associated with building such infrastructure.