Vital role of battery energy storage showcased at Banbridge event

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Group of people in high vis vests and whit hard hats standing at a work site.
Lord Mayor, Cllr Sarah Duffy with Minister for Infrastructure John O'Dowd, Chief Executive of ABC Council Roger Wilson with staff from Heron Energy Group.

A successful information session has taken place at a new Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) site in Banbridge, bringing key stakeholders together to one of the first fully operational sites of scale in Northern Ireland. The facility is owned and managed by Heron Energy, with the session focusing on the critical importance of renewable energy storage in helping the region towards its ambitious targets for 2030.

Heron Energy is a subsidiary of the highly regarded Heron Group, which has been a leader in the construction, property development and manufacturing industries for nearly 70 years, highlighting the expertise involved in leading and delivering BESS projects for Northern Ireland’s energy future.

The key stakeholders in attendance included leading figures in the energy industry, elected representatives and government officials, as the session highlighted the instrumental role that BESS has to play in the delivery of the region’s green energy strategy. During the visit, attendees were given a comprehensive tour of the Banbridge BESS site, gaining first-hand insights into the cutting-edge technology and strategic site management that will drive Northern Ireland’s progress in the renewable sector.

Heron Energy BESS facilities are at the forefront of this transition, ensuring that excess energy generated from wind and solar sources is stored efficiently and released back into the grid during periods of high demand. This capability not only maximises the use of local renewable energy but also reduces reliance on fossil fuels, contributing to a more sustainable energy future for Northern Ireland.

Damien O’Callaghan, Managing Director of the Heron Group, commented: “We were delighted to welcome these valued stakeholders to our live BESS site to showcase our commitment to a sustainable energy future. As Northern Ireland aims to generate 80% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, the necessity of battery energy storage solutions has never been greater. Achieving this target is crucial not only for addressing the climate crisis but also for enhancing our energy security through increased reliance on local electricity generation. As a local business dedicated to sustainability, we understand the urgency of expanding the Heron Energy growth goals. By doing so, we aim to both increase employment opportunities and contribute to solving the energy crisis.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough, Cllr Sarah Duffy, said: “I was delighted to visit the BESS facility in Banbridge to see the positive impact this technology can have on maximising the use of local renewable energy sources and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. It is fantastic to see our Council area at the forefront of this journey and play our part in addressing the climate crisis. It is important we continue to work collaboratively with industry leaders like Heron Energy to unlock the full potential of battery energy storage to ensure a cleaner, greener energy future for generations to come.”

Congratulating Heron Group, Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, NI Chamber added: “Northern Ireland has a real opportunity to establish itself as a hub for green technology by utilising its extensive natural resources to play a central role in the energy transition. That will require significant input and investment from private sector companies and government working in partnership. Businesses like Heron Group are already leading the way, so it is fantastic to see the Group’s continued commitment to green innovation come to fruition through this new Battery Energy Storage System site. Investment like this is not only vital for meeting sustainability targets, but for stimulating the growth of this important sector and growing its contribution to Northern Ireland’s economy overall.”