‘Query power plant plan’ – public urged

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As power station developer Gaelectric embarks on public consultation events, objectors urged the public to ask searching questions.

Residents living close to the Carnduff site where Gaelectric Energy Storage (GES) proposes to build a £300 million compressed air energy storage (CAES) power plant warn that not only the neighbours should be concerned.

The five-storey CAES plant would be 750 metres above caverns excavated froma thick layer of rock salt up to 500 metres below the surface.

During off-peak hours, electricity from the grid would power compressors in the CAES facility, forcing air into the caverns.

When demand increases, the air would be released to the surface and heated with clean-burning natural gas to expand its volume and velocity. The air-gas mixture is used to drive a specialised combustion turbine that can generate up to 300MW of power.

Concerned about the environmental impact of the construction and operation of a five-storey power plant, not only on their own lives but on the greater Larne area, residents have warned that everyone living in the town should be worried about that is proposed.

“I really don’t think most people are aware of the scale of what is being proposed to be be built here,” Carrickfergus Road resident Anne Mundell told us.

Mrs Mundell added: “People are under the mistaken impression that this will go before the council and that it will never be passed, but it will be the Minister of the Environment Minister who has the final say and they aren’t answerable to people in Larne.”

Flyers have now been produced, highlighting the site’s location “just a quarter-mile beyond Inver”, encouraging people to attending Gaelectric’s community consultation events this week.

People are urged to ask about the proposal to pump millions of gallons of bring from the excavated caverns into the sea and to consider: “Do you want a blot on your local countryside?”

Anyone seeking further information should contact Mrs Mundell by emailing mundellanne@hotmail.com