Siemens Energy will supply technology to Irish energy company Electricity Supply Board (ESB) to stabilise the grid at the Moneypoint coal power station, which is slated to be substituted by a 1.4GW floating wind array in the Atlantic Ocean.

The German company will supply a synchronous condenser system, which will incorporate the world’s largest flywheel used for grid stability.

“Due to the intermittency of wind energy in particular, grid stabilization technologies have an increasingly important role in a successful energy transition,” said Paul Smith, head of asset development at ESP Generation and Trading.

“We are pleased to bring forward the Moneypoint Synchronous Compensator with flywheel as a cost effective and zero carbon solution in strengthening the stability and resilience of the Irish grid.”

ESB in April had announced a multi-billion euro plan to develop the Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint project to transform the site in South-West Ireland near Kilrush in Clare Country into a green energy hub linked to the giant floating wind array off the island’s west coast that is also planned to include a hydrogen storage complex.

The synchronous condenser is slated to enable an increased integration of wind power into the Irish grid by providing sufficient inertia for frequency support, short-circuit power for system strength and reactive power for voltage control. Commissioning of the new plant is planned for mid-2022.

Siemens Gamesa will supply and build the system, and provide maintenance for ten years with remote diagnostics.

“Synchronous condensers are an important building block for mastering the transition to climate neutral, CO2-free power generation,” said Beatrix Natter, executive vice president transmission at Siemens Energy.

With the rising share of renewable power and the shutdowns of fossil plants, synchronous condensers are playing an increasingly important role in the grid, Siemens Energy said.

By means of the rotating mass of a conventional generator, the solution adjusts conditions on the transmission grid, provides the necessary inertia to support the grid frequency and short-circuit contribution while also providing or absorbing reactive power. In addition, synchronous condensers can diversify revenue for owners and operators while providing an important cash flow contribution.