Poolbeg Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

Project Introduction

Ireland’s key target under EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) is for 16% of the country’s total energy consumption to be from renewable energy sources by 2020. In response to this target, EirGrid began a multi-year programme, “Delivering a Secure, Sustainable Electricity System”, known as the DS3 Programme.

The aim of the DS3 Programme is to meet the challenges of operating the electricity system in a secure manner while achieving these 2020 renewable electricity targets. This programme is designed to ensure that the power system can securely operate with increasing volumes of variable non-synchronous renewable generation over the coming years. Achieving this level of renewable integration on a synchronous system is unprecedented and presents significant challenges for the real time operation of the power system.

In parallel, the ESB Brighter Future Strategy aims that by 2030 ESB will cease operations in coal and peat. Accordingly, Irish electricity demands are gradually expected to be achieved by increasing levels of intermittent renewables. This increase in intermittent renewables displaces traditional heavy rotating power plant which is required to alleviate faults on the transmission system.

Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) developments play a pivotal role in ensuring a constant supply of electricity can be provided to the grid at all times. They do not generate energy but are used store energy and provide fast acting short bursts of electricity into the system to offset system events such as failure of an overhead line or generation plant. Traditionally this system stability would be provided by a conventional large generation plant but with increasing renewable generation this stability can be helped by batteries. There is also the potential for batteries to charge up using cheap power at times of low demand and discharge electricity at peak demand times.

ESB is constructing one such battery energy storage facility with grounds of Poolbeg Power Station, replacing redundant buildings associated with an old conventional Power Plant with the latest technology in energy storage. This 1.5-hectare battery site will have the capacity to provide 75MW of power for up to two hours. A commercial large-scale BESS operates in a similar manner to a standard rechargeable battery that would be found in a domestic appliance. As mentioned above, BESS developments, such as that proposed here, will allow for increased renewable energy generation connecting onto the electricity grid. These systems will provide response capabilities to support the network and counteract the fluctuations in generation characteristic of technologies such as wind and solar power. Power will be imported – effectively ‘charging the battery’, during periods of excess capacity. The power is stored for future-use and discharged onto the grid during periods of excess customer demand.


Picture of a typical battery energy storage system configuration

Typical BESS Equipment Arrangement


Environmental Control Measures

The site is located is between two Special Protected Areas (SPAs), on the edge of the Poolbeg Peninsula, adjacent to the iconic Poolbeg Chimneys and within the proximity of Shellybanks beach.

As a result, the construction works should take the local area into the consideration. By engaging with the relevant local stakeholders such as Dublin City Council and the Environmental Protection Agency ESB is managing the site and implementing suitable mitigation measures to ensure the development has minimal impact on the surrounding area.

Aerial view of site location

Poolbeg BESS Site Location

These mitigation measures include extensive monitoring of the site, monitoring factors including but not limited to the following:

  1. Noise levels (N1)
  2. Vibration levels (V1, V2)
  3. Dust levels (D1, D2)
  4. Particulate (PM10)
  5. Wind speed (W1)

Aerial view of location of monitors

Monitor Location Map