Compressed air energy storage plant, Larne, Northern Ireland

Storing compressed air energy in underground caverns

The 268MW (2x 134MW) compressed air energy storage (CAES) plant which Gaelectric Energy Storage (GES) is proposing to build in Larne, Northern Ireland will provide grid level electricity storage to optimise the use of renewable energies, such as wind.

Arup undertook an engineering feasibility assessment to assess the engineering constraints and a preliminary concept design to identify options on the facility layout.

Energy will be stored during periods of low energy demand (off-peak) for use in periods of higher demand. This will allow intermittent renewable energy to be stored whenever it's generated and released when needed.

The plant will provide grid level electricity storage to optimise the use of renewable energy and will deliver significant savings in the management of Northern Ireland’s electricity grid.

To store the compressed air, a number of air storage caverns will be created deep underground in geological salt deposits using a solution mining process.