The Energy Storage Study investigated Northern Ireland’s suitability for safe underground energy storage, including compressed air, carbon dioxide capture and natural gas. In particular, it focused on County Antrim and the adjacent off-shore Irish Sea areas, as there are unique thick beds of underground salt that could be suitable for the development of storage facilities.
The study will prove an invaluable resource for companies interested in the development of underground energy storage facilities.
Arlene Foster said: “The results of the Energy Storage Study will help planning for the development of safe underground energy storage facilities in Northern Ireland. Potential investors, who are interested in the development of gas storage facilities, compressed air storage, or the storage of carbon dioxide will now be able to use the data to make informed decisions.
The Minister concluded: “The development of energy storage facilities would contribute significantly towards meeting some of the aims of the Department’s Strategic Energy Framework. I therefore hope that the results will encourage private sector development of underground energy storage projects suitable for strategic requirements both now and in the future. The research will also be of interest to the renewables sector for possible offshore renewable energy projects.”
The Energy Storage Study was carried out by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in co-operation with the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI) and the British Geological Survey (BGS).