Gaelectric to host community consultation on Islandmagee CAES

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Gaelectric is to hold its sixth community consultation on the compressed energy storage (CAES) plant in Islandmagee.

The consultation will consist of two events, the first of which will take place on Wednesday August 12 at Islandmagee First Presbyterian Church from 2.30pm to 8pm.

A second event will take place the following day, Thursday August 13, in the Wilson Room of Larne Town Hall from 2.30pm to 8pm.

In 2013, the company announced its intention to build a CAES facility, only the third of its kind in the world, at Carnduff on the outskirts of Larne.

However, after a recent technological breakthrough the company has shifted its focus to the Islandmagee area, where the salt layer reaches greater depths of up to 1800m.

The project would see the creation of underground caverns to store energy in the form of compressed air, which would then be released to generate electricity when demand is high.

In its public notice for the community consultation, published in this week’s Times, Gaelectric states that the CAES plant will consist of a CAES Station building, balance of plant, well pads, geological storage caverns and associated development in the townlands of Ballycronan Beg and Ballycronan More.

It continues: “Linear infrastructure associated with the project will comprise of a transmission cable that will traverse the townlands of Ballylumford and Ballycronan More and a terrestrial marine water intake pipeline and terrestrial brine outfall pipeline that will traverse the townlands of Ballylumford, Ballycronan Beg, Ballycronan More, Ballyprior Beg and Dundressan, primarily following along the Ballylumford Road, Ferris Bay Road and Browns Bay.”

“Marine elements off the proposed project will be subject to a separate consenting regime and will extend off the coast of Ferris Point northwards and off the coastline of Dundressan northwards under the seafloor to respectively surface at the intake and outfall locations.”

The notice states that the company will welcome all views and input from members of the public.

Those who wish to make a submission on the project or speak to a member of the project team are advised to attend the meeting or email the project team at info@gaelectric.co.uk or write to Patrick McClughan, Gaelectric, 2nd Floor, Princes Dock, 14 Clarendon Road, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT13BG, UK.

To view the project online, visit www.project-caeslarne.co.uk