Statkraft, Fluence partner on Ireland’s ‘first’ 4-hour BESS. Image: Fluence.

Fluence and Norwegian state-owned firm Statkraft have partnered to deliver a 4-hour battery energy storage system (BESS) in Ireland.

The 20MW BESS, which is expected to be a “market first”, will be deployed in County Offaly, in the Republic of Ireland, at Statkraft’s 55.8MW Cushaling wind farm, which is already under construction. Fluence and Statkraft expect to finish construction by the end of 2024.

The BESS will be able to discharge 20MW for up to four hours, longer than the typical duration deployed in the Ireland market to-date, which has been between 30 minutes and two hours, Statkraft said.

It will support Ireland’s grid operator Eirgrid by providing renewable load shifting as well as ancillary services to help maintain grid stability.

Brian Perusse, managing director of Fluence Energy Ireland, commented: “The continuous advancements in energy storage technology are astounding and the technology is well positioned to serve both flexibility and peak capacity needs in the market. We are very pleased to collaborate with Statkraft, our long-standing customer, on bringing the first 4-hour duration battery-based energy storage system to the Irish market.” 

It is Statkraft’s third BESS project in Ireland, and the firm has worked with Fluence at all three, the first of which was completed in January 2020, as covered by sister site Solar Power Portal. The two companies recently partnered for a transmission-connected BESS in the UK too, Statkraft’s first to be connected that way rather than into the distribution network as is more common.

The project’s 4-hour duration could illustrate a move in the Ireland market towards more energy-intensive activities, and away from a reliance on ancillary services, which typically involve providing shorter, more frequent injections of power to help maintain grid frequency.

The longer the duration of battery energy storage capacity, the more benefits it can offer, Statkraft said.

Kevin O’Donovan, managing director of Statkraft Ireland, said: “The longer-duration storage capability of this project shows that Statkraft continues to innovate and embrace advancement in battery technology.” recently caught up with Fluence president for the Americas region John Zahurancik at RE+ 2023 in Vegas to primarily discuss the US market (Premium access).

This article first appeared on Solar Power Portal’s sister publication