Gaelectric to address MEA council over CAES

editorial image

MEA Borough Council has agreed to a request by renewable energy company Gaelectric to address the council regarding its plan for a Compressed Air Energy Storage Facility (CAES).

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 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.

At a meeting on July 6, Chief Executive of MEA Borough Council Anne Donaghy told councillors: “They have requested to update council on the plan. This is a significant project and will be subject to a regional planning decision.

“I feel it would be very beneficial to get an understanding of the proposed project, its economic benefits and learn what it entails.”

Councillor Gregg McKeen added: “A special meeting could be held to deal with this and then open it out to all members. We can get a proper debate and information on it. It will have a major impact on the whole area around Larne Lough.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to hold a “workshop” meeting to hear Gaelectric’s presentations.