Storing wind power

A new study is under way to ascertain and quantify the potential economic benefits of coupling vanadium redox batteries with wind farms in Ireland.

Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) and Tapbury Management are funding the study, which will be carried out in collaboration with VRB Power Systems. VRB is a Canadian electrochemical energy storage company that patented and brought to market the Vanadium Redox Battery Energy Storage System.

The study will focus on Sorne Hill Windfarm, the recently commissioned 32MW windfarm which is located in Buncrana, Inishowen, Co. Donegal and which is managed by Tapbury. In particular, the study will focus on the projected wind output from Phase II at Sorne, which will produce an additional 6.9MW of wind power and is due to be installed in Autumn, 2007, and the benefits of controlled output as well as additional output that will accrue from coupling a 12 MWH VRB-ESS to Phase II as recently announced.

An integrated forecasting system will be developed to optimize the storage element of the VRB-ESS, maximizing the system’s ability to enable smooth delivery of power from Sorne Phase II and other wind farms. The system will also determine the optimum schedule to release energy in order to ensure maximum revenues can be generated by the system. The study is expected to be completed by end of October 2006 and will be used to determine the economic potential for battery storage operating in the forthcoming Single Electricity Market in Ireland.

With over 3,000MW of potential wind energy in Ireland, there could be a need for in excess of 700MW of storage to maintain a steady supply.