SSE acquires 200MWh Northern Irish battery storage project from Heron Energy

May 2, 2024

SSE Renewables has acquired a fully consented 100MW / 200MWh battery storage project near Dungannon, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, from Heron Energy, part of the property developer Heron Group.

The Derrymeen battery energy storage system (BESS) will be the largest installed battery storage facility in Northern Ireland if delivered. Subject to a final investment decision by SSE Renewables, the “shovel-ready project” will be constructed on a greenfield site located outside Coalisland, around five miles from Dungannon, a statement said.

It added: “When called upon, the system would be capable of providing back-up energy to the equivalent of over 135,000 homes in Northern Ireland for up to two hours at a time.”

The Derrymeen project is SSE Renewables’ first battery storage development in Northern Ireland. If approved for final delivery, construction could commence on the project early next year and be operational by the end of 2026, providing a welcome boost to the local economy, SSE said.

Mark Ennis, chairperson of SSE plc in Ireland, commented: “With the return of the Stormont Executive, there is no better time for SSE to be making its first investment in a battery storage project in Northern Ireland. The delivery of the Derrymeen battery project would make an important contribution to SSE plc’s overall Net Zero Acceleration Programme, our fully funded five-year investment plan which will see SSE Renewables investing over £7bn to 2027, or almost £4m a day on average, to deliver the low carbon energy infrastructure that will support the UK and Ireland’s transition to net zero, including new battery storage technology.”

Daniel Barnes, head of solar and battery development (Ireland), SSE Renewables, added: “This acquisition further demonstrates SSE Renewables’ aim to lead the way in the transition to net zero, as we build out vital battery energy storage systems that will be capable of making the grid more resilient, while maximising the opportunity to harness surplus renewable energy generated from onshore wind and solar generation in Northern Ireland for use at times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. We look forward to working with policy and regulatory authorities in Northern Ireland to ensure much-needed energy storage solutions can be delivered in the region and operate effectively within the framework of the All-Island Single Energy Market.”

Damien O’Callaghan, managing director, Heron Group, said: “At the heart of our vision and values lies a commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices. Embracing renewable technology through Heron Energy underpins this dedication, and is aligned with our overarching Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Vision 2030 strategy. This is the first of a large number of developments currently underway and by harnessing the power of renewables, we will not only reduce our carbon footprint but also contribute to a brighter, cleaner future for generations to come. These projects are only viable due to the forward thinking by SONI and local councils such as Mid Ulster District Council in allowing investment in grid infrastructure to safeguard power users in the area.”

Suzanne Wylie, chief executive, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, added: “This deal marks a significant milestone between two leading businesses with a very strong footprint across Northern Ireland. The investment is timely, as NI businesses continue to reiterate the need to deliver a strong energy infrastructure which supports their sustainability targets. When complete, the Derrymeen project will play a significant role in delivering the region’s green growth potential and be an enabler of the low carbon economy of the future.”