EU backs N Ireland storage
€90m grant approved for compressed air project in Larne
EU member states have approved a €90m grant for a compressed air energy storage project in Larne in Northern Ireland.
The grant is part of €444m funding proposed by the European Commission for 18 European energy infrastructure schemes that was given the green light today by member states.
The Larne project converts excess energy from renewable generation into compressed air to be stored in geological caverns within salt layers underground for later release to generate electricity.
“The project will contribute to system flexibility and stability and facilitate the large-scale penetration of renewables into energy markets,” the commission said.
The money comes from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU’s funding support programme for infrastructure.
Other projects gaining supprt include €40.25m for the 700km SuedLink in Germany, which will link wind power generated in the north to consumer centres in the south of the country.
Another €40m will go to the Sincrogrid transmission project between Croatia and Slovenia.
“This will enable current infrastructure to cope with additional renewable energy and result in greater energy security without the need to build new overhead cables,” the commission said.
Under CEF, a total of €5.35bn has been allocated to trans-European energy infrastructure for the period 2014-2020, it added.