The new owners of Kilroot Power Station, EPUK Investments (EPUKI), have outlined their vision for an investment of up to £600million in the creation of a new energy park, at the Kilroot site in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The plans which are at early concept stage, would represent the largest ever single investment in electricity generation in Northern Ireland and could include a range of renewable energy technologies and electricity generation solutions.
If taken forward in its entirety, the Kilroot Energy Park vision, would have the potential to generate up to 440MW of lower carbon and renewable energy, which is enough to power 500,000 homes. The investment in the site would also safeguard hundreds of jobs and mark a historic milestone in the decarbonisation of electricity generation in Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the publication of the Kilroot Energy Park vision, EPUKI Commercial Director Ian Luney said,
“Our vision for Kilroot Energy Park represents the largest single proposed investment in energy infrastructure and generation in the history of Northern Ireland.
“For decades now, the coal fired generating units at Kilroot have provided a hugely strategic and important source of electricity for homes and businesses across Northern Ireland. With the UK Government committed to phasing out coal powered electricity generation by 2025 and with Northern Ireland determined to lead the way in lower carbon and renewable energy generation, we have a fantastic opportunity to transform the Kilroot site allowing it to continue to remain one of the prime and core indigenous electricity generation sites in Northern Ireland.
“Kilroot Energy Park will aim to deliver new highly flexible gas generation to complement the widespread use of renewable energy on the electricity system in Northern Ireland. This aligns with the strategic needs of the Northern Ireland system, which can utilise on any given day up to almost 70% of its electricity from renewable sources.’’
‘’In addition to this, we are looking at a range of other forms of renewable energy on the 230-acre site, including solar, battery storage, hydrogen and a Multi Fuel Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facility as well as a data centre.’’
‘’EPUKI would like Kilroot Energy Park to become a centre of excellence and understanding for all aspects of electricity generation and storage in Northern Ireland. For this reason, we are proposing to build an Education and Learning centre on the site. This will allow schools and people from all walks of life, to come and learn about how we strive to produce electricity in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly manner possible.’’
‘’A biodiversity area is also proposed to create a unique rewilding opportunity at the site and along the shoreline of Belfast Lough. We plan to work with wildlife and marine organisations to enhance the native flora and fauna and marine ecosystem. Viewing facilities could also allow visitors to the Energy Park to learn more about this work.’’
Mr Luney concluded:
‘’Everyone involved with EPUKI is excited about taking this vision forward. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but the transition away from coal to lower carbon and renewable energy generation presents an incredible opportunity to transform the site.
“In the coming months and years we will further develop the proposals and in doing so we will engage with local stakeholders and elected representatives, Mid And East Antrim Council and Stormont.
“Above all, we want people in the local area to understand that EPUKI is committed to investing in the site and its long-term future, to ensure it continues generating electricity for homes and businesses across Northern Ireland.’’