Offaly energy project to deliver climate-friendly electricity grid

State of the art technology is necessary to strengthen grid efficiency and ensure renewable energy targets are met, Commissioner Phil Hogan said at the launch of the Trial Phase of a new hybrid flywheel energy project in Rhode on Wednesday morning, August 29.

The project, operated by Irish company Schungrad Energie, has already received close to €3m EU investment and will now be trialled for development commercially. It is being developed in association with German companies Adaptive Balancing Power and Freqcon and the University of Sheffield in the UK.

Officially launching the Trial Phase Commissioner Hogan said: “The 2020 renewable energy targets will have to be met by all EU Member States, including Ireland.”

“The EU is leading from the front in the global fight against climate change. This requires the right policies, but also crucially the right investments. The 2020 renewable energy targets will have to be met by all EU Member States, and the European Commission will continue to invest in projects which contribute to enhanced energy sustainability for our citizens. The state of the art Hybrid Flywheel-Battery pilot in Rhode, Co. Offaly, is a good example.”

“Ireland is making good progress in renewable energy generation, notably through wind power, but storage capacity needs to improve in order to strengthen grid efficiency, which is why the Commission supported this project to the tune of €2,944,001. This facility can make an important contribution to a sustainable energy future for Ireland and Europe,” Mr Hogan said.

“The project has important potential both commercially and in assisting a rapid move to climate-friendly electricity generation,” Jake Bracken of Schwungrad Energie explained.

“It will enable transition to low carbon wind and solar electricity delivery, providing essential stability and reliability to the electricity grids both in Ireland and throughout the EU.”

At a commercial level, it has very significant potential to deliver manufacturing jobs, will provide access to Irish and UK markets and will be a contributor to requirements arising from the DSC3 energy process being rolled out currently by the Irish energy regulator. The initiative was earlier selected as and Eigrid Demonstration Project.

The current trialling phase involves approximately six months work at the Rhode facility followed by a further six months at the University of Sheffield, after which it will be expanded to facilitate full commercial development.